How to ask your employer to sponsor your professional development

Self-advocacy is a key factor in progressing in your career. It is important to check in and evaluate your career progression in your field and company. Often, we ignore our needs because we are engrossed in our work and other responsibilities. Seek opportunities and programs that will lead you to your desired career track. In the process, you should connect with your current manager about how they can support you in your professional development. You can use that time to present certain trainings and programs that will not only benefit the company but effectively impact your performance.  

Here are ways you can navigate the conversation and ask your manager for support!   

  1. Research & Apply: Before you schedule a time to meet with your manager, learn about the types of opportunities your employer provides for professional learning like stipends, reimbursement, etc. This will help in your research as you select the program that aligns with the areas you wish to develop and is cost-effective. Once you have selected a program and applied, gather information about the program such as important dates, time commitment, employee benefits, etc. This is important to have on file as it will help answer any questions your manager may have in your meeting. 
  2. Prepare: Before approaching your manager, ensure you have been accepted to the program. Once you have received confirmation, move forward with putting together your letter request. Below you’ll find  some sample letters. Feel free to download one and customize as you see fit for the select program that you want to participate in. To find the dates, times, and topics for your desired program, click on this  Programs page . Then, use the information to customize your letter. 

    ALZA, Advanced Latino Leadership Program Sample Letter
    Multicultural Leadership Program 
    Elevando Latino Leadership Program
    Hombres de HACE Leadership Program
    HACE Colores Leadership Program

    Mujeres de HACE, Women’s Leadership Sample Letter

  3. Request Support:  Set up a meeting to discuss with your manager your professional development. In your request, provide details on what will be discussed and links/information on the program, as well as ways this program will support your role at the organization. Make sure to include the letter in the email. Your manager will have time to prepare for the meeting along with a decision.   

If you have any questions or would like additional program material, contact or call 312- 435-0498 ext. 814.

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