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5 Tips for Getting Approval to Attend OfficeNinjas Con

Being well-prepared can make asking your boss to attend a conference an easy conversation.

Interested in attending a professional conference like OfficeNinjas Con (April 24 in San Francisco) but not sure how to convince your boss that the experience is worth the investment? We get it. Advocating for your own professional development and looking out for the company can seem like two competing priorities, but they actually go hand in hand.

Here are five tips for getting your boss to (enthusiastically!) agree to you attending OfficeNinjas Con or any other professional development conference.

1. Gather all the deets.

Before broaching the subject, prepare answers to all the questions your boss may have. Who is attending? How is it structured? What topics will be covered? (This printable document is a great, boss-friendly resource for OfficeNinjas Con.)

Also, make sure to calculate the full cost of attending, including travel and accommodations, as well as the length of time you’ll be away from the office.

2. Lay out your reasons for attending.

There are dozens of reasons to attend a professional development conference like OfficeNinjas Con, but your argument will be more persuasive if you stick to three points that you can clearly communicate and that matter to your employer.

You may want to emphasize the opportunity to grow your network (especially if you’re one of only a few Ninjas in the office), learn more about a particular topic, or make important vendor connections. Whatever your reasons, make sure they speak to your work, your professional goals, and the team’s needs.

3. Put yourself in your boss’s shoes

A good boss cares about your continued growth and education, but they also need to account for the company’s goals, budget, and resources. To show the ROI of your attendance, be prepared to discuss how you will apply what you learn to benefit the entire team.

Also, think through the logistics of your time away from the office. Your boss may worry that without their phenom resident Ninja, the office will come apart at the seams. So alleviate their fears with a plan for coverage during your absence. (Bonus: This is a chance to work on your delegation skills!)

4. Get your request on the agenda.

Controlling the time and place of your request will help you go into it with confidence. If possible, schedule a dedicated meeting or set aside time during a regular one-on-one for the discussion.

A surprise request may get a “no” out of principle. So make sure to set expectations ahead of time. And if you think your boss would appreciate time to prepare beforehand, email them a formal request prior to your meeting. (We have an easy-to-use email template for OfficeNinjas Con!)

5. Be okay with a “no.”

Despite your research and carefully planned proposal, you may still get a “no” from your boss — and that’s okay! Asking is a good way to practice advocating for yourself, and your request will start the conversation about future professional development opportunities.

(Even if OfficeNinjas Con isn’t in the cards this year, we offer plenty of other chances to connect and grow with your peers like Admin Bash and Adminglings!)

Get ready for OfficeNinjas Con 2019.

It’s time to put these tips into action. Download our printable OfficeNinjas Con detail sheet and our handy email request template. Then review our OfficeNinjas Con webpage, and drop a meeting invite on your manager’s calendar.

We can’t wait to see you in San Francisco on April 24 for a full day of interactive workshops and group intensives designed exclusively for admins and workplace operators.

Your Turn

Have you convinced your boss to approve and expense a professional development conference? How did you successfully make your case? Share your tips in the comments to help other Ninjas!