‘I love my job but I know I could do more.’
If the comment above sounds familiar you may well be one of the thousands of career-minded Australians who are torn between their desire for career progression and their appreciation of their current organisation. Job satisfaction comes from many sources, it might be the team you work with, the company’s reward structure, the type of clients you get to meet or even the location and ambience of your workplace. It could also be the case that, even for the most exciting career move, leaving your current job would be too big a wrench.
The good news is that employers who want to reward loyalty and bring on promising employees are often willing to sponsor qualifications, particularly if these are undertaken via online study, which will enhance, rather than disrupt your time at work. Whether you are interested in short courses online or online diploma courses, you might be pleasantly surprised at your employer’s response to suggestions for qualification sponsorship. We look at the benefits of asking your employer to sponsor your qualification.
1. Staying in the same job can be good for you and for your boss
The advantages to you of employee development and staying in the same job
Staying in the same job has many emotional and practical advantages but studies also show that employee development and job satisfaction are clearly related. The 2014 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey undertaken by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 41% of employees gave a rating of ‘very important’ to ‘job specific training’ and 42% gave the same rating to ‘professional development’. Longevity can give you a reputation for dependability and knowledge but it is only useful to you if you feel that you are also getting the opportunities for online study that you need.
The advantages to your employer of sponsoring your qualification to enable you to stay in the same job
It can be the case that training doesn’t bring in an immediate return on investment (ROI) but a good employer will see the other benefits of strong training policies such as:
- Speedier task completion
- Opportunities to train the team
- The ability to take on more responsibility
- New specific job skills
- An awareness of industry trends
- Networking for brand recognition
- Networking for leads and referrals
It is worth checking if any costs incurred by employee education are tax deductible and may be exempt from Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).
2. Online study can enhance your job performance
Online study options, for example online diploma courses, are less disruptive to work patterns that traditional study and gives you specific, industry-level skills; for example, on our IT Certificate IV in Programming (ICT40515) course you will learn a combination of internationally recognised vendor specific (examinable) and vendor neutral skills. Employers will benefit from having employees with the most current training.
However, online study will also enhance a wide range of generic or transferable skills such as organisation, research and time management that will improve your usefulness to your employer. In short, online study helps to build the whole person and makes us into better employees.
3. In a changing world, broad knowledge is good knowledge
However much you love your current job, it pays to keep in mind that the ‘job for life’ no longer really exists. Your average job tenure, the length of time you will stay in a job, varies with your age but if you are under 25 you will have greater job mobility than someone who is over 45. The average job tenure in Australia in 2014 was 3 years and 4 months. Job markets in Australia are still in a state of flux but by undertaking online study whilst remaining in your current job, you will be preparing yourself for a move should one become necessary.
The broader your skill set and knowledge base, the more likely you are to be able to cross into different industries or move within your own industry. We never know exactly what the future will hold and it always pays to be prepared. Online study, for example online diploma courses or short courses online are a great way to ensure your level of preparedness is up to whatever life will throw at you.
4. Most Employers want to be approached for sponsorship
As long as you broach the topic realistically and with an organised proposal, most employers have no objection whatsoever to being asked to sponsor an employee qualification. Asking for support is always better than resenting not having it.
What’s the worse that can happen? If your employer says ‘no’, you will have sown the seed of an idea and demonstrated your willingness to go the extra mile in order to progress. You may also have a revised opinion as to how long you want to stay with the organisation. We have a few tips to help you towards a successful request to sponsor your qualification:
- Check your employee handbook and HR materials to make sure you understand existing training policies.
- Talk to HR about previous examples of your employer sponsoring online study at the level in which you are interested.
- Have all the financial details at your fingertips, including information about how much an online course will save your employer in additional expenses such as travel.
- Make sure you outline all the logistical implications of your proposed online course. For example some of our courses, such as our Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Community Services) offer an on-campus element, of which you might want to take advantage. Come up with solutions for any possible problems before you talk to your boss.
- Give your employer a few options. For example if you are interested in gaining business and leadership skills via one of our online Diploma courses, such as our Diploma of Business (BSB50215), include one of our short courses online, such as Leadership in the Workplaceand a longer course, for example the Dual Diploma of Business and Leadership and Management (BSB50215/BSB51915) as possible options. Even if you only get offered the short course, you will have won the opportunity to demonstrate how training can improve your usefulness in the workplace and will perhaps be funded for a longer course at a later date.
- List a few possible returns on investment your employer might expect to see once you have finished your online study (see ‘advantages to your employer’ above).
Above all, when you approach your boss for sponsorship towards your online study, do so with an open mind. Be aware that your needs might not exactly match the company’s current plans, and offer an attitude of flexibility.
It isn’t always necessary to leave a job you enjoy to gain progression. With the right qualifications and even one of our short courses online, stepping into a more inspirational position with your existing employer can be easier than you think. Take a look at our range of online courses today and start planning a career step that will allow you to stay with the organisation you love at the same time as maximising your potential.