Best Way to Get Your Company to Invest in Your Career

There’s a good chance you’re missing out on a bunch of benefits your company offers to select employees. However, there’s a standard business practice that can be your gateway to gaining access.

Are you getting your fair share of support and resources to develop your skills for career advancement?

Well, if you aren’t seen as a high potential at work, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on a ton of valuable opportunities that your company offers to select employees.

High-Potential Perks

You see, being recognized as a high-potential employee is a big deal in the corporate world because it comes with a bunch of benefits that can supercharge your career.

As a high potential, you can get more value out of your employer. Companies are willing to make substantial investments in your development, granting you access to a realm of growth opportunities that aren’t available to everyone. This can include coaching, specialized training, and additional resources that make you even more promotable.

So, being designated as a high-potential isn’t merely a title; it can be one of the most effective ways to opening doors and propelling your career path forward.

Get More Career Investments

But what if you haven’t yet secured that coveted upper-right spot on the 9-box grid? What if you’re not getting invitations to meet with company VIPs or invitations to participate in leadership acceleration programs?

Well, the good news is that you don’t have to wait for these opportunities to come to you. In fact, there’s a common practice at every company that can serve as your ticket to accessing more resources for advancing your career.

Career Management: Work the System

I’m talking about something often overlooked – the professional development planning process. 

You know, that document you’re required to prepare with your manager each year that spells out professional goals with an action plan for how become a better worker? Well, Instead of treating this as a “check the box” task, use it as an opportunity to tap into more tools and resources that can boost your promotability. 

And here’s a suggestion: don’t just defer to your manager to identify your growth areas for career success.

Take control of your career planning and professional growth by figuring out what skill sets you need to develop based on where you want to go next in your career. 

Not sure what to include? Here’s 8 ideas to get your gears turning:

1. Self Assessments: If you’re in the early stages of your career, you could surely benefit from insights into your strengths, traits, and preferences. Use your development plan to gain access to workplace assessments such as Myers-Briggs, CliftonStrengths, DISC, Kolbe, and more. Tools like these can go a long way toward gaining greater self-awareness, which is essential to advance your career.

2. Stretch Assignments: You don’t need to wait for your manager to approach you with a challenging assignment; this is an opportunity you can (and should) proactively request. Get outside your comfort zone — think about the skills or experiences you want to acquire, and then discuss your ideas with your manager. For example, earlier in my career I wanted to gain more global experience, so I initiated a task force with regional leaders to share and adopt best practices.

3. Skill-based training: Do you want to be a better writer, speaker, negotiator, facilitator, mediator, project manager? Or maybe you want to level-up your proficiency with conflict resolution or technical skills by learning a new programming language? Highlight the skill as a gap in your career growth plan and ask your manager to cover the costs of an online course. You can learn on the company’s time and dime.

4. Professional Associations: Membership in professional associations are a great option to stay updated on industry trends and expand your professional relationships. Get your company to cover membership dues and access another valuable resource for your ongoing development.

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5. Professional Certifications: Certifications are another way to advance your current skill set and knowledge. These designations not only elevate your expertise but also increase your market value, both within and beyond your organization. It’s likely your company will pay for these programs as well, especially when they are about gaining new skills for your current position.

6. Higher Education: If you want to further your education, make it happen on your company’s dime. Many companies will reimburse some, if not all, of your tuition costs for a degree. Plus, you might even be able to gain support for a more flexible work schedule to accommodate your studies.

7. Mentoring: If you like to seek advice and learn from role models in the organization, mentoring may be for you. Many companies offer formal mentoring programs, matching up a high potential, or more junior employee, with a senior leader for the purpose of leadership development and career advancement.

8. Career Coaching: Are you aiming to elevate your leadership skills and transition into a more senior role? Consider requesting a career coach who can provide guidance. Coaches can serve as impartial sounding boards, helping you identify and overcome career-related obstacles or navigate transitions.

Strategic Career Move: Aim High and Ask for More

Bottom line, view your professional development plan as an opportunity to get more value and investment in yourself from your company. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive, so go ahead and aim high!

The fantastic thing is that when you take charge of your professional development plan and career goals, it sends a powerful message to management: you’re committed to career development. It’s a great way to boost your status as a high-potential employee and open the door to new opportunities.


About Author

As a former CMO who started her career as an admin assistant, Alison writes about climbing the corporate ladder to achieve financial freedom.

You can read more about her story here.



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