If you are working in IT then to be honest, you shouldn’t
be paying for your own subscription. If you boss is too
tight to invest a few bucks in work related learning then
you need to find another company.
Here I chat about a few strategies to get work to pay for
your site membership.
Setting the Groundwork
As an employee your company will be hoping to squeeze as
much work out of you without any complaints on your part.
If the time comes when somebody can do your job as well or
better than you for less then you are history (as per my
job at Cisco along with thousands of other good engineers).
If your company begin to struggle financially then you
will be told your job is at risk. They see you as a massive
overhead so you are basically expendable.
Don’t take it personally. This is the modern working world
where ‘job for life’ is an oxymoron. You can expect to
move every 5-7 years. My friend was made redundant at Cisco
and worked for a security company who went bust, he got
another job as a security engineer and the company went
bust as did the next one.
Your mission as an employee is to do the best job you can
and learn as much as possible while preparing yourself for
the next job. Only an idiot sits around not studying,
praying their job will last forever.
In return for your loyalty and hard work, the company is
expected to invest a little money in you so you can do
your job to a high level. This is their IT infrastructure
after all, you are not there to clean the toilet.
You need to build a case for them investing a few dollars
into your education. If you are already working on the
network then this should be fairly easy. You are working
on tens of thousands or millions of dollars of equipment
and you should be trained to do the job. Much of the
foundation Cisco exams cover basic networking concepts
also so again, you can state that this is important
Write down a list of how they will benefit by helping
you get trained. You need to include features plus
benefits (in brackets):
Faster fault finding (less downtime/loss of income)
Improved traffic flow (so more gets done)
Better return on investment in IT (make more money)
Ability to run Voice over IP (massive savings)
Improved network security (less risk of being hacked)
You need to grow the list yourself but it will go into
building a business case for your company sponsoring you.
Step 2 – Be worth sponsoring.
Do you know any of these types of employee:
Turns up late
Complains all the time
Goes sick regularly
Only happy on a Friday
Never volunteers for anything
and so on…
Even if you are working in a job you hate, you need to
make the most out of it. It is only temporary so you might
as well learn all you can before you move on. A company is
far more likely to invest in a person who they feel will
be a good investment for them.
Step 3 – Find the Money
Find out if there is a training budget and find out who
has it. You could ask HR if your company is big enough to
have a HR department.
Ask if there is a training budget set aside for employees
and who has it. Does each department manager have their
own budget or is it held centrally. Find out how big it
is if possible and very important – find out who has had
it spent on them in the past and how much.
Step 4 – Make it Easy to Get a Yes
If you make it hard then you are less likely to get your
request approved. Find out if you need to have any forms
filled in. Find out what evidence they need or criteria
before they decide and get it all done. Don’t leave it to
your boss to do because he or she is already too busy.
In the next article I will cover how to position your
request so it gets approved.