Career coaching is an investment in the future of your career and I always think it’s a worthwhile investment. But I always ask my potential clients if they’ve considered asking their employer to fund their career coaching, because it’s an investment that benefits them greatly as well.

In this episode we talk about why you might want to ask your employer to pay for coaching and how you go about it. If you’re interested in pursuing this option, I’d highly recommend downloading my Get Your Employer to Invest in Your Career Coaching Guide through the link below – it even includes a template for a proposal to support your request.

Links I mentioned in this episode:

15. Getting your employer to fund your career coaching – Transcript

[00:00:00] Hi, there I’m Bec McFarland the host of the Pop Your Career Podcast. As a career coach, I’m most passionate about helping my clients to discover their own personal flavour of career fulfillment. In this podcast, we are going to be exploring ways that you too can feel more fulfilled by your work. So strap yourself in, get ready for the ride. The tips around here are fast and in abundance.

[00:00:29] Hello hello. It’s Bec McFarland here helping you do better and be better in your career today on the Pop Your Career podcast, we are going to talk all about getting your employer to pay for your career coaching. Now I find this to be quite an interesting topic because a lot of the people that book discovery calls with me don’t realize this is an option.

[00:00:54] I do get people who come to me and they book discovery calls with me. And the first thing they say is like, ‘My [00:01:00] employer has suggested for me to get career coaching as part of my professional development plan’, or ‘I requested career coaching as part of my professional development plan and my employer has agreed to pay’ and some even come to me and say, ‘I’m going to approach my employer about getting funding for career coaching’, but there are a lot of people out there who don’t realize that this is a possibility and they haven’t even thought about it. Often because it’s never happened to them before.

[00:01:26] Maybe none of their colleagues have ever gotten any coaching or anything like that. And, you know, sometimes we need to see it to believe it. So a lot of the people who book discovery calls with me do so with the intention of funding, their career coaching themselves, which is totally fine.

[00:01:43] But if you’re going to go into coaching to improve your skills, your capability, your knowledge, your leadership, the way that you relate to other people, you know, there are so many different things that you could benefit from in career coaching. These things will also benefit your employer. And [00:02:00] if they’re going to benefit your employer, well, I don’t think it’s an unreasonable thing to actually ask them about contributing to your learning.

[00:02:07] So what’s the story? How do we get them to agree, to contribute to our career coaching? There are a few steps that I would suggest that you follow and I’m going to share them with you.

[00:02:18] But I have also put together a little handy guide that includes all of these tips, as well as a bit of a basic template that will support you in putting together a proposal for your employer and it’s just a really great starting point if you’re not quite sure how to ask the question. So if you want that guide, you can head over to, enter your details, and I will send you through that guide.

[00:02:43] And as I said it’s just a really good starting point for you. If this is the first time that you’re thinking of it, or you would just like a little bit of support with putting together that proposal and seeking your employer’s help.

[00:02:57] In the meantime though, let’s talk through those [00:03:00] steps. So firstly, I would suggest that you begin by identifying exactly how career coaching can help you. So when you’re approaching your employer for a financial contribution, you will get the best results if you give them all the information that they need.

[00:03:14] So you want to start thinking, how can this professional development activity actually benefit you and your employer? And there are so many different areas that you can focus on. This gives you heaps and heaps of flexibility when you’re looking for financial assistance ’cause it means that you can tailor your proposal to suit where you are currently at.

[00:03:34] Whenever I have a discovery call with someone and they suggest to me that they are going to approach their manager or their employer to fund their career coaching, I go ahead and provide them with a bit of a generic list of all of the different kinds of things that I might cover in a career coaching package.

[00:03:51] And then I encourage the client to go through that list and look for the activities or the topics that are going to provide the most benefit to all parties, which [00:04:00] is themselves and the employer, so that this is the most convincing proposal that they can put together.

[00:04:06] So most of my clients find that this is quite helpful. It just gives them some of the language around the areas that they’re looking to improve. And it is just a really good starting point when you’re looking to make a request like this.

[00:04:18] This episode is brought to you by the Career Clarity Quest, my absolutely free, seven day program, which is designed to support you in getting so much clearer about your next steps. Find it at

[00:04:38] So next up, you want to make the connection between what you’re going to get out of career coaching and how this is actually going to benefit your employer. It’s one thing to make a list of all of the topics that you want to cover in your career coaching package, but to take things to the next level and make sure that your proposal is really, really persuasive, then you want to [00:05:00] clearly make the connection between the topic that you want to cover and how this is actually going to benefit your employer. How will it improve things for them?

[00:05:08] So if you’ve already had discussions in professional development plans or during your performance reviews about areas that you might want to improve, then you might be able to point to those things.

[00:05:18] Sometimes it might have been more of an informal discussion with your manager, where they may have said to you, ‘Hey, you know, you need to improve in this area’. Or if you’ve been looking at promotion opportunities, your manager might have provided you with some feedback on areas that you might need to improve in order to be competitive at that next level.

[00:05:39] This is particularly the case if you’re working in the Australian public service, there is a big focus on career progression and career development. Obviously they also have the work level standards. So it’s really clear about the expectations of what’s required at each classification.

[00:05:54] And this can be another really great resource that you can use when trying to ascertain [00:06:00] what you and your employer can get out of a career coaching relationship.

[00:06:06] With employers like the Australian public service who are really committed to their employee’s professional development, I also find that putting something in the proposal about writing a career plan or getting support to actually apply for promotion opportunities is really persuasive because they like to see that you’re forward thinking, that you’re committed, and that you’re looking at the future.

[00:06:33] So, depending on your employer’s level of support and their interest in professional development and career development for their employees, that might be something that you want to consider.

[00:06:42] Of course, from my perspective, I think all employers should do this. It’s a huge benefit because the investment in professional development helps you to breed employee loyalty, it reduces attrition and it can definitely help to make you an employer of choice. So if you’re an employer and [00:07:00] you’re listening to this, I would definitely consider investing in your employee’s professional development, and just looking at the ways that it benefits both them and you.

[00:07:09] Once you’ve identified what you want to work on in your career coaching and how this could benefit you and your employer. We want to look at the way that you’re actually going to make the request. How do you ask for the money? So this is largely going to be dependent on the relationship that you’ve got with your supervisor.

[00:07:24] Some of my clients find that it’s just a really informal discussion. That’s like, ‘Hey, I’ve been thinking about career coaching. These are the things that I want to work on. I was wondering if perhaps you’d be interested in contributing?’ And often the manager just says, ‘yeah, sure. Send me through the paperwork’.

[00:07:41] But I know that not everyone has this kind of relationship with the manager. So for some of you, it will be going through a little bit more of a formal path. And this is where I would suggest writing a formal proposal. Now, even if you do have that really relaxed and open relationship with your manager, I always think it’s a [00:08:00] great idea to go through the process of writing a proposal anyway, just so that after that discussion, you can actually follow it up by sending them a copy of the proposal, just to show that you’re really serious.

[00:08:10] But actually going through that process of putting together the proposal often gives you ideas, it helps you to think about what it is that you really want, it might start to give you some food for thought about the language that you use. It can actually be quite an insightful process.

[00:08:28] So whether or not you are going to go down the more informal conversation route, or you are going to put together the formal proposal, I would suggest that you actually do spend that time doing the reflection and the introspection, and then putting down some points whether you actually plan to send it to your employer or not. I hope that kind of makes sense.

[00:08:50] So, as I mentioned to you in that guide that I’ve put together, I have included a little bit of a template just as a letter that you can basically write to [00:09:00] request the funding. It goes through the different steps that you might want to include. It’s a bit of a framework, some tips and ideas about how you might be able to word it for your employer.

[00:09:09] So it talks you through the process of what you’re actually requesting, why you’re requesting it, how it’s going to benefit them and where you’re going to get this support from.

[00:09:21] So if you’re in a situation where you’ve already done a discovery call with a career coach, whether that’s me or someone else, you do want to explain that you’ve already begun that process and that you’ve found somebody that you would like to work with. Some employers actually have career coaches that are part of their teams, or they have other specific arrangements.

[00:09:40] So if you’ve already done the work and you’ve already begun to develop a relationship with someone, or you’ve found somebody who is a good fit for you, then I would suggest making that really clear in your proposal as well, so that the expectations are just laid out there for all parties.

[00:09:55] So, as I said, if you want that proposal template and the tips, you can grab a copy [00:10:00] over at

[00:10:03] Now what happens next? This will depend on who the career coach is that you’ve chosen. Everyone has different processes. I do just want to give you a little bit of an insight into what my process looks like, just in case you do decide that you would like to book in for some career coaching with me. Most of my process is fairly automated, this is because of my passion for automation and systems in business. But when you decide to go ahead with coaching with me after we’ve had that discovery call to make sure that we’re a good fit, there is a form that you’ve been provided, you’d basically just go ahead and you complete that form.

[00:10:42] And once you’ve completed the form, it triggers a couple of different actions. So it sends an email or task through to my team so that they can send you your invoice. It also automatically sends you an email with a link to my calendar so that you can go ahead and start to book your coaching sessions into my calendar.[00:11:00] It’s all a fairly streamlined process and it’s my aim to just make that as easy as possible for you.

[00:11:09] I do just want to make a point here, though. If your employer doesn’t agree to pay for your coaching, then it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to make that investment in yourself. A lot of my clients do go ahead because they believe that the career coaching is going to be very important to them and they understand that it’s an investment in their future.

[00:11:28] But I just want to really reiterate that this is a very personal decision. It’s up to you. It’s up to your family. It’s up to what you can afford and what you can justify for your future. I am very happy to support my potential clients through this decision making process, but I just want to make it really clear that I don’t think it’s ethical to actually pressure people into any kind of coaching.

[00:11:53] And obviously I do not agree with these tactics at all and I definitely wouldn’t use them as part of a discovery call. [00:12:00] But if you are having a discovery call or some kind of consultation with someone, and they are suggesting that you go into debt to pay for your coaching, if they’re asking you to make a decision on the spot, if they’re really pushing you for an answer, those are those really high pressure sales tactics. And I would suggest that you move on and find someone else.

[00:12:21] That might be a little bit of a controversial opinion, but I just really believe that if you’re going to be making an investment like this in yourself, you should do so because you really desire it for yourself and not necessarily because you feel like you’re being forced into it.

[00:12:35] So go through your own decision making process. Do your due diligence. This may mean that you have discovery calls with more than one career coach to find somebody who is a good fit for you. But make sure that you just follow that process through and do whatever it is that makes you feel really good about your decision.

[00:12:53] What do you think? Are you going to ask your employer to help you to fund your career coaching? [00:13:00] I hope that this episode has given you some ideas, whether that be the idea to actually approach your employer for career coaching, or maybe some ideas or tips about the way that you can actually go about the approach.

[00:13:11] As I said, go and download that guide. It’s there for you. And it will definitely give you a really great place to start if you’re thinking about embarking on this journey. If you’ve got any questions, you can always reach out to me, send me an email, hit me up on social media.

[00:13:25] And if you are thinking about engaging the services of a career coach and you like the cut of my jib, then by all means, again, go onto my website, book yourself a 15 minute consultation with me. We can discuss your situation, talk about how I might be able to help you and work out whether or not we’re a good fit to work together.

[00:13:42] Until the next episode. Take it easy. And I look forward to seeing you again very soon. Who knows? We might even be having a chat on one of those consult calls. See you soon.

[00:13:53] Thanks so much for listening to the Pop Your Career podcast. I hope that you’ve [00:14:00]enjoyed today’s tips and that you found value in what I’ve shared with you. If you like your career advice quick and entertaining, I would love for you to subscribe. Also leave me a rating and a review. If you want to continue the conversation, come and join me over on social media. You can find me everywhere at Pop Your Career. I’ll see you soon.


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About the author 


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.