How To Ask Your Company To Pay For Your Professional Development

Did you know that many companies give employees a yearly professional development stipend? Here is how you can ask for your company to pay, along with two communication templates.

women of color chat
separator icon

You just found an amazing opportunity — a course, coach, workshop or certification, perhaps — that is exactly what you need right now. You’ve been looking for a way to develop *insert skill* and this opportunity checks all of the boxes!

The only problem is that it’s just out of your budget.

Did you know that many companies give employees a yearly professional development stipend? Stipends often range from $500 to $2,000 a year!

Make sure you take advantage of what your company has to offer. When you find an exciting development opportunity that’s the perfect fit, talk to your direct manager or an HR manager about using your stipend.

I always think face-to-face (in person or over video) communication is ideal for when you’re making a request.

Here is a script you can use to ask about your professional development stipend.

(Remember to pause throughout to allow your manager to react/ respond!)

  • Hi [insert manager name], how are you?
  • I’d love to chat with you today about how I’d like to work on developing [insert skill] this quarter. Since our [insert most current/ relevant performance review or 1:1 meeting], I’ve been thinking about and researching development opportunities.
  • I think I would benefit from working with a coach to [insert your goal in working with a coach]. I’m confident I would gain/ develop [insert how you would benefit or what skills you would be able to add to the team]. 
  • I came across an exciting opportunity, [insert the program, workshop, or certification]  — and would love to use my professional development stipend towards it. The program cost is a bit out of my personal reach so if [insert company name] can cover all or part of it, that would be incredible!
  • I’d appreciate your thoughts and feedback and I can answer any questions you have about [insert program].
  • Can you let me know what the next steps are to allocate the stipend/ get reimbursed?

You know your situation and relationships best, so if you think email is the way to go, here are two templates — one for if you know your company has a stipend and one for if you’re not sure what the policy/ budget is.

EMAIL TEMPLATE (1) If you know you have a professional development stipend:

Hi [Name of Boss or HR Manager],

[Personalized Intro]

Since [insert most current/ relevant performance review or 1:1 meeting], I’ve been thinking about how I can develop [insert a skill or competency you’re working on] over the next quarter. I think I would benefit from working with a coach to [insert your goal in working with a coach]. I’m confident I would gain/ develop [insert how you would benefit or what skills you would be able to add to the team]. 

I came across an exciting opportunity and want to know if I can allocate my professional development stipend to [insert link to the program, workshop, website]. If [insert company name] can’t cover the entire thing, but I can be reimbursed for part of it, that might work too. Please let me know how I should proceed at your earliest convenience.

Thank you!

Best,

[Your name]


EMAIL TEMPLATE (2) If you’re not sure if your company has a budget for professional development:

Hi [Name of Boss or HR Manager],

[Personalized Intro]

Since [insert most current/ relevant performance review or 1:1 meeting], I’ve been thinking about how I can develop [insert a skill or competency you’re working on] over the next quarter. I think I would benefit from working with a coach to [insert your goal in working with a coach]. I’m confident I would gain/ develop [insert how you would benefit or what skills you would be able to add to the team]. 

I came across an exciting opportunity, [insert link to the program, workshop, website], and want to know if there is money in the budget I could use towards it. The program cost is a bit out of my personal reach so if [insert company name] can cover all or part of it, that would be incredible!

I understand if we don’t have the resources for this, but please let me know if it is a possibility and if you’d like to discuss further.

Thanks so much!

Best,

[Your name]


Your manager or HR team won’t always have the capacity or expertise to support your growth. Take ownership of your development and advocate for yourself! You deserve personalized support.

Questions about professional development stipends or working with a management coach? Send me a message at alex@themanagercoach.co. Or connect with me on LinkedIn or Instagram!

separator icon
Posted in . Explore more from this category...

Leave a Comment





free download

A Guide to Leading Meetings that Matter

Get my 25-question guide that will help you STOP creating meetings that waste time and START propelling your team’s work forward in a meaningful way.

A Guide to Leading Meetings that Matter