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Insights: How to Approach Your Boss about Attending a Conference

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Question

Submitted by: WISE NYC Metro member | Up to 6 years professional experience

There are a number of sports industry conferences but they tend to be pricey so I'm not able to pay my own way. It's usually the more senior employees (mostly men) who go from our company. The department has a tight budget and since they don't like multiple staff members out of the office at the same time, most people don't ask. What's the best way to frame this so that I can justify the expense and time out of the office to my manager?

Answer

Great question. Conferences are generally expensive, so it’s important to make sure that the conference you want to attend is going to have some solid connection back to your role or the broader team’s work. Spend time researching which one you will really learn from and then position it with your manager as a development opportunity that will enhance your skills and allow you to contribute in a greater capacity. Let them know what specifically you want to learn and then propose speaking to the team once you are back to share with them what you have learned, especially if there is something where the whole team can benefit.

 

Jane Hollman

About Jane Hollman

Jane Hollman has more than 25 years experience in senior human resources roles at large multinationals and sports across Asia Pacific and the United States. Currently a career coach, she helps business leaders and university students think through their career paths. Hollman is passionate about creating flexible, innovative work places and mentors women looking to start their own businesses. She is also a freelance writer covering the business of sports for publications such as Women Talking Sports.

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