5 steps to ensure approval for continued education

WIIFM (The Executive: “What’s in it for Me?”)

Consider how your attendance at the event will improve your on-the-job performance. What will you, your team, or your organization be able to do faster, smarter, or more effectively as a result of your attending? Try to express this value in terms of the dollars you’ll save the organization or the productivity or other gains you’ll achieve as a result of attending.

Prepare, Predict & Plan (A, B & C)

Evaluate the impact of your absence. Even though it’s only for a day or two, your absence could lead to resentment from your executive if you leave them in the lurch.
As a side note, in most cases, your absence, even only for a couple of days, demonstrates the large void that you fill on a daily basis. Its been said that the short time away from your daily duties illustrates how indispensable we EAs truly are.

Executives, when left to their own devices, are seldom as effective or efficient and exceedingly less productive. Mainly due to the lack of controlled chaos that we EAs provide so expertly.

However, to ensure your main duties are covered decipher what you need to prepare and what needs to be orchestrated prior to your departure.

Predict what could slip in your absence, and what arrangements need to be made in advance to cover your work?

And as always, prepare for a plan A, B and C to avoid having to exit the general sessions during the conference in order to put out unnecessary fires at the office.

Provide a Business Case (EAO Provides One For You!)

Data data data! Always put your request in writing. In describing the event, include the above points as well as relevant brochures, articles, and links to websites.

Referring back to #1. when creating any pitch to promote yourself and/or your continued education, remember to avoid focusing on anything that doesn’t add value to the companies bottom line, the executive and the overall growth of your partnership.

Important; when reading or listening to your case for attending a conference, no matter how strong your work relationship may be, the executives inner monologue will always defer to “WIIFM?”

As provided in the EAO Business Case attached, identify all relevant costs, including:

  • Hotel
  • Airfare
  • Ground Transportation
  • Meals (per diem)
  • Registration fees

Seek ways to keep costs down, such as by registering early or taking flights that aren’t the most convenient. Point out how the dollar value of the benefits of attending offsets the costs.

Sell Your New EA Game

Describe how you plan to get the most out of the conference and what you’ll write up or present afterward to benefit your team or organization.

This can be an important selling point: Your new found abilities to save the company time, money and resouces plus how you anticipate to inject a new lease of energy and creativity into the workplace are all major selling points.

Notice, we are not selling your abilty to network and meet new people at the conference, your excitement to travel to a new city (no immediate benefit from the executives point of view).

The Best Leaders Need Courageous EAS Stand tall.. and send your courageous self to the conference with your head held high!