How to Convince Your Boss to Pay For Your Language Courses (with scripts!)
So here’s the thing: You want to take a language class, you’ve read up all about the benefits of learning a language, you think it’ll benefit your clients, your boss, and you want to travel the world. But how to go about paying for the classes? You ask your boss.
No, don’t ask your boss to fund a conference in Monaco if the company is struggling just to stay afloat. But do present a coherent argument and show how it’ll be a mutually beneficial investment for both you and the company.
Don’t know how to start? We’ve provided a few scripts. You could use these as templates of what to do and what not to do.
Don’t Do This
Boss: So what did you want to talk to me about? And where are all our interns?
Adam: Oh, I took the interns out for drinks last night, so they probably won’t be coming in this morning.
Boss: Adam, you were supposed to be ready for the deal pricing today.
Adam: That’s due today?
Boss: I told you it’s due at the end of the month.
Adam: Oh. I thought you meant at the end of next month. Wait do you have a sec?
Boss: What’s that?
Adam: I’m hoping that you guys could shell out some money for these French classes I want to take.
Boss: Why do you need French classes?
Adam: Because I’m hoping to move there after I quit my job.
DO THIS INSTEAD.
Boss: Hi, Adam, what did you want to talk to me about? And where are all our interns today?
Adam: Hm. The trains must be running late. I was hoping we could discuss potentially finding ways to fund my language class. I was looking into learning another language, like Arabic or Chinese, so I would be able to communicate with our clients in a more effective way, and show them that I care about building a professional relationship with them. This way they’ll feel more connected to our company if they see we put in the effort to address them in their own language.
Boss: It’s probably a lot of money, and our company is behind in sales this month. Why would that be worth the investment?
Adam: It’ll be a strong mutual investment. You’ll be allowing me to show you serious I am about the work I do here. I’ll have the skills to assume more leadership responsibilities that will further benefit my team and company as a whole. Also, learning new languages makes you more empathetic and enhances analytical thinking skills.
Boss: How much is it?
Adam: It’s only $400 for two or three months of classes at Fluent City, which is one of the most competitive prices in the market. They have great reviews on Yelp, small classes, fun teachers, and some of the most, if not the most, affordable personal one-on-one lessons in the city.
Boss: What are the long-term benefits for the company paying for your education?
Adam: It would help optimize my teamwork skills, communicate more clearly and effectively, and also help me grow personally as an individual who could then give more back to the company.
Boss: What’s the financial payoff for the company?
Adam: Allowing me to gain new skills would be cheaper than hiring and training a new employee who has those same skills.
Remember to come to the meeting prepared to answer you boss’s questions and with your own questions handy: what would your company’s expectations of you be if you learned a new language? And in what time frame? Advancing your career is an investment, but learning a new language is something that will last a lifetime.