In today’s hot job market, companies are competing for employees, doing all they can to attract and retain top talent. A recent LinkedIn report found that “94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.” LatimerNext offers comprehensive solutions for employers to run career communication skills training.
However, a growing trend in employer-sponsored professional development is companies giving employees the flexibility to choose their own growth through a regular stipend. This facilitates reimbursement for a wide range of courses and trainings.
The truth is that most of those stipends go unused, despite employees clamoring for the benefit. Failing to use these resources is like declining part of your compensation, and there are some truly transformative options out there for budgets of all sizes. Here are some suggestions on ways to use that benefit to maximize its value:
Optimize an upcoming pitch…on their dime
If you have a big presentation coming up, get some outside help to capitalize on that specific opportunity. All decks and pitches can be improved, no matter how experienced the deliverer. Take a course and work with a private coach to get personalized feedback on your plan of attack. This will generate tangible improvement and lasting benefits for the project in front of you, for your employer, and for your career.
Learn a new skill
These new skills may or may not be directly related to your current job, but companies tend to value versatile employees. Some examples could include learning a new language, learning to code, or learning to play guitar. Most company policies are broad enough to encourage you to improve yourself in any way you see fit.
Prepare for what’s next in your career
“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Use your stipend to better sell yourself in the job market, either to interview internally or externally if you need. While you might feel awkward, learning to talk yourself up, to articulate your strengths and to translate your stories into succinct, powerful personal narratives, will also benefit your current employer immensely. However, it’s on them to treat you well enough so they benefit from those enhancements over the long term.
Whether it’s a summer beach read, or an insightful business book, employees often use more modest stipends to build up their at-home libraries. If you are someone who regularly buys books, this use case can make your stipend close to a direct salary bump, as it covers an existing expense.
Conferences are a great way to learn, network, travel and demonstrate initiative. To prepare, consider adding on a course to hone your personal narrative. This will ensure that you are ready to impress new contacts (and potential future employers!) with a personal pitch that captures attention and drives actions to your benefit.
This is something our staff invested in at LatimerNext. We found that it immediately enhances your online presence, improves your awareness of your own career trajectory, and deepens knowledge of your own industry and of many others.
What better use of a professional development stipend than to work directly with an experienced coach on your targeted needs? If communication skills represent a growth area, consider a LatimerNext coach to help you prepare for whatever is next in your career.