Learn While You Work: How to Ask Your Boss About Skills Development

Getting paid to learn can be a win-win for both you and your employer.
January 15, 2019
4 mins read

Children are the fastest learners on the planet. In fact, studies show that up to the age of 6 a child can simply absorb the information around them like a sponge. This is why educating children early is important and why choosing a career in early childhood education is generally so rewarding.

Of course, as you get older it can be more difficult to learn, but it should still be an important part of living and maturing. Learning new facts and developing new skills will help to improve your employment prospects and your financial well-being. But, more importantly, doing so will also help to maintain your physical and mental health, improving your quality of life as you age.

So, how do you improve your skills or develop new ones while working?

The Options for Learning

The traditional school option is not practical when you are working. Instead, you should look into evening classes (assuming you work daytimes) or remote classes. These are especially effective, as you can be flexible regarding when you study and your rate of progression.

Of course, you will need to be disciplined in order to keep your studies up. This is why it is important to talk to your employers regarding your skills development; they can help support you.


The most obvious way in which your employer can support your skills development is to actually fund the cost for you. This is usually something that is done when the skillset you are learning will be beneficial to the company.

You might find that you are also tied to the company for a period of years, but this is simply to ensure they are spending money wisely.


Another way in which an employer can offer support is through paid time off. This can be for you to attend a class that is only available during working hours, or it could be for you to attend an intensive course or sit for your exams.

Employers can also give you time to study within the working day; it is not normally difficult for this to be factored in, especially if it benefits you and the business.


If the skills you are hoping to learn are relevant to the business, there is a good chance that there is already someone employed who has experience in the field.

Your employer can support your studies by ensuring you get to spend time working with this person and learning from them. This will help you to apply what you have learned in theory to the practical world.


If an employer is unable to do any of the above, they can still support your learning by giving you an incentive to complete the course. This may be a promotion, pay raise or something else, such as paying for the second part of a course.

Whatever the offer, it will show they are supporting you and helping you to reach your goal. All you need to do is tell your employer what you intend on doing and ask if they are able to help in any way.

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