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I work at an European company for 1,5 years now (50-100 employees) and I'm the only one in my job role. Management has a "learning by experience" mentality which means you just learn by doing, not by extended training. Because I need more challenges in my job role and because I have no one to learn from I requested if I could do a course to improve my knowledge and skills. (First course would be 1000 euros, second course 2500). Most of the study time would be outside office hours. This is the first paid education I'm asking for.

They said I can't do it now because we have cash flow problems and it's not clear if the company will do well financially the coming months. If they would have, they'd pay me the course, but the cash flow problems occur quite frequently since we're having trouble finding sufficient customers.

I already offered to pay a part of the course, but I don't want to pay it all myself because I think it will be of great value for my work. I also would prefer not to leave my job at the moment, but I'm not sure how long I should wait before they give me educational benefits. How can I handle this best?

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    How much do you earn a month? If your company have "problems" in spending extra 1000 euros do you think it's a good company to say with? – SZCZERZO KŁY Jul 22 at 10:58
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I think you already have the answer - the company has cash flow issues so dropping a few thousand euros on training that is essentially a "perk" is probably going to fall into the "luxury" rather than "essential" category.

I already offered to pay a part of the course, but I don't want to pay it all myself because I think it will be of great value for my work.

From this I'm assuming they haven't agreed to your part-payment proposal? This might mean that it's a non-starter for now but might be worth re-proposing once the cash flow situation improves somewhat, in order for this to work though you are going to need to parlay the benefits of the course into business benefits for the company. And in this sort of environment these benefits need to be as specific and quantiative as possible -

I think it will be of great value for my work

is a whole lot less persuasive than

If I get qualification A that will mean we can take on jobs that want to do B - we missed out on X customers/projects last year because we weren't able to offer them B

Fuzzier benefits from education courses are still valuable of course, employee satisfaction (and therefore retention) and so on - but when a company is struggling for cash flow return on investment is king.

  • thanks, my manager didn't have time so I couldn't explain the added value yet but he promised we will look into this later. I'm just afraid the company will keep having cash flow problems for a long time - and that they'll find other expenses more important the coming year. – Luchadora Jul 19 at 12:50
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It sounds as though you have a pretty solid "no" on your employer investing in your future.

Consider looking for a more challenging job in a larger, profitable company that supplements experiential learning with internal/external courses. Ask about company policy on this in your second or third interview — once you know they're interested in you.

It might sound like: "I want to continue to develop my skills in X and Y. Do you provide work experience and internal/external courses that will help me do my job better and progress over time? What's your policy on employees using those benefits?"

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