How to get your manager say yes to a professional certification

Back to Blogs By Jessie Scheele Posted: December 1, 2020
professional certification

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

So, you’re committed to earning a professional certification as business communicator. Great! And now you like support from your manager to pay for your exam fees. Easy-peasy, right? Here are some tips to help you convince your manager that you’re worth it.

IABC British Columbia is a proud supporter of the Global Communications Certification Council´s certification program, and we are excited to host a certification exam on Tuesday, January 26. Plus, as a member you receive a 75% discount on the application fee!

In an ideal world, your company would happily pay for each of your certifications and trainings. Not so lucky? Time to roll up your sleeves and write a well-defined proposal that makes your manager take out the company wallet for your professional development. Here are three key things you need to cover:

1) Clearly state your career development goals
Ask yourself why you really want the (Strategic) Communication Management Professional™ certification. Don’t hold back and be specific – write down everything that explains the relevancy to your position and showcases the value for your career development.

Facts:

  • Professional certification provides a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, as well as keeping your skills fresh and applicable through the training and education requirements for maintaining certified.
  • It will help you perform at a high level in your current role by providing strategic communication advice and counseling based on industry standards and best practices. 

2) Provide background on the certification program

With a worldwide network of over 9,000 communicators and over 250 credential holders, GCCC®’s certification program is internationally recognized as the most important certification in the communication industry. It demonstrates your professional competence and ethics based on a global understanding of key principles and job competencies. 

Facts:

  • The GCCC® aims to serve the communication profession by encouraging and executing a process of credentialing of communicators who achieve a global standard at different points of their career path.
  • The (Strategic) Communication Management Professional™ certification is internationally recognized and the only accredited designation for business communicators.  
  • The certification program includes the industry-wide professional development requirements which are based on the Global Standard for communication professionals.

3) Explain the benefits to your company and manager

Like all of us, your manager wants to know: what’s in it for me? Highlight how your organization and your team/department will benefit from your (S)CMP® certification.

Facts:

  • Knowledge and skills: the (S)CMP® certification provides you (and indirectly your team) with a better understanding of effective communication tools and approaches.
  • Performance and financial impact: professional certification makes you a better-equipped advisor and therewith contributes to daily improvements in both tactical and strategic communication practices within your organization.  
  • Respect and authority: as a (S)CMP®-certified communicator, you can act as an in-house resource and mentor for communication best practices and processes, while also increasing the credibility of the communication function in your organization.

Prepare for your pitch

Don’t wait until just before the certification exam to ask for funds for your professional development. Make your request a couple of months ahead, so you have sufficient time to prepare your case. Be ready to answer some tough questions like: how will this make me more valuable to the company? Or: how will I perform better? 

Speaking about preparation: before even setting up a time to meet with your manager, you want to practise your approach. Do a dry run for your spouse, a friend or colleague, or try recording your pitch and playing it back to evaluate which part of your story still needs some work.


What if your manager says no?

Although you pitched a killer business case, your manager may still reject your request for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean you should give up on your ambition to elevate your career with a professional certification. Always remember: no one is responsible for your career growth but you.

Pay for it yourself – it will always pay off. Our friends from IABC´s Central Oklahoma chapter shared some fascinating research on how a few letters behind your name makes you a more valuable asset.

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