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I've got a good relationship with my manager and the boss (owner) of the company really loves me and he's told me on numerous occasions how invaluable I am.

My job is stressful, demanding, but I'm not growing career-wise. When I started the job (7 years ago) my employer promised to pay for studies. He hasn't done that, citing lack of money. Yet, he can afford to send everyone else to school.

How do I address this as a concern in my performance review? I've listed education as a goal each year since I started working here, but I always get the same excuse. It's performance review time again, and I want to list education again, but want to word it differently, in a way that he can't dodge my request by citing lack of money. I know there is money - so how do I convince them to invest in me?

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    I suspect they are afraid you'd have other employment options if you had a degree. It might be an underhanded way of ensuring you don't leave the company. You might need to find a way to allay their fear of you leaving after completing formal education. – Roland Jan 24 '18 at 9:18
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    @Roland Might be in the right track. 7 years is too long a time, if I were being ignored in favour of others, I would have jumped ship long ago. – Rui F Ribeiro Jan 24 '18 at 10:28
  • Thanks for editing this. You mention you want to word your request differently, but I doubt there's any way of doing so. Odds are good that your manager will once again tell you there's no money and then you have to decide if you're willing to have a very direct and somewhat adversarial conversation. Are you looking for answers that cover that as well? – Lilienthal Jan 24 '18 at 16:10
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    "he's told me on numerous occasions how invaluable I am" That's usually an effective strategy for cheaply retaining young employees. – pmf Jan 25 '18 at 7:51
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Put a request in for this certification at your next review. Give examples of how this certification will have a direct and positive impact on your productivity, and therefore for the business as a whole. You need to justify why you need this more than just "Other people get this, why can't I?" (especially when you're good at what you do).

If the manager responds with

there's no money for that right now

Then say

That's ok, it's not urgent. Can we set this up for the next financial year?

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    I don't see how the second response would change anything. – Physkid Jan 24 '18 at 11:59
  • @Physkid worded that way, I agree. Perhaps a better approach would be "this seems to have been out of reach for a couple years now. What can we do to put it into the next budget so that it's achievable?" If the company's not willing to put their money up despite their agreement that "education" is a goal worth putting on your annual review, it's time to look elsewhere. – alroc Jan 24 '18 at 13:47
  • Hodor. Nice answer. – Mister Positive Jan 25 '18 at 1:48
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    If they haven't found it in the budget the last 7 years I wouldn't stick around waiting any longer. IF they tell him in the next review that they can't do it he needs to seek success elsewhere. – BirdLawExpert Jan 25 '18 at 2:26
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First of all. 7 years is a LONG time to be waiting for a promise, especially when others are getting it. Now that's not necessarily a valid complaint but I think it would be a valid question if you're denied yet again.

How far away is this review? IF its' more than a month I wouldn't wait that long. I'd have a sit down sooner. If it's within a month sure go ahead and wait. In that review I would bring in the details of what I wanted to go do, and I would present them to my boss. If that didn't work and he still denied to send you I would immediately start looking for a new job and not give more than 2 weeks notice (or whatever your contract may specify). At this point of 7 years of repeatedly lying and stringing you along you don't have any reason to give them loyalty. They've hampered your career growth for long enough. You're number 1, always remember that.

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    Gotta second this, not only because it’s the correct advice, but because I don’t understand how a person could tell you to your face that there’s no money, while the elephant that would normally be in the room at that moment isn’t there becuase even the elephant is getting a free education on this company... – A.fm. Jan 25 '18 at 2:43
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I would put it in much the same way you've written it here.

You mentioned that your job is stressful and demanding and you're not growing career wise. Make your direct report think about what's keeping you at the company and what reason you have to stay. Perhaps they think that you're comfortable with what you're doing and you don't really mind that you haven't been given anything extra, perhaps they're just thinking that you want what everyone else is getting?

Below's a few talking points for you.

Be extremely clear about what you want and where you want to end up. Most people don't want to stay in the same job for the rest of their lives, so let your manager know what you aspire to, what's driving you. Show that you're keen to learn.

Don't forget to tie it into a benefit to the company, why should they put you through the training? How does that turn into a benefit for the business and how will they get a return on their investment? Will they end up losing the "invaluable person" they have in their current role? Talk about how you could up-skill/cross-skill someone else into your role.

If you're determined to reach a goal and there's a roadblock in the way, ask "How can we overcome that?". If it's something that simply cannot be overcome, then you really don't have much option other than to look for another job that will provide what you're after.

On a side note

It's best not to let things slide for so long, if you're determined to get something, letting it go by for 7 years without having a path to your destination doesn't exactly scream determination. You have very little reason to show loyalty to a company that can't keep it's promises. At the end of the day you need to look out for yourself. "You're #1" as someone else here put it!

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