Forward Thinking

Building and managing your career is an ongoing project, not just something you do when circumstances change. Your career is your responsibility and we offer here some practical advice on taking charge of your career progression whatever stage you've reached.

Future Development

Start by thinking about where you are now and where you want to be in two years and five years’ time, set some goals:

  • Which aspects of your current job would you like to develop?
  • How would this build on your work objectives?
  • Do you need extra training or work experience?
  • Is there the possibility of funding or sponsorship for relevant training/study?
  • Are there projects you would like to work on, or teams you would like to work with? How does this benefit your work and organisation?
  • What are your personal development needs in terms of your career progression?


As part of your career or professional development plan, you may identify a course of study that requires funding. Approaching your employer for help with sponsorship means negotiating for funding and/or study leave and cover while you are away from work. You need to prepare and present a solid business case; these tips should help your planning:

  • Articulate what you want in terms of your career and clarify your aims.
  • Carefully research potential study choices; check what is available through internal training and identify the best options in terms of value and relevance.
  • Approach your line manager or the staff development team.
  • Show the benefits for the organisation and your role within it.
  • Emphasise that you will be sharing knowledge with your colleagues, perhaps through regular reports or updates.
  • Ask your manager to be a mentor in keeping up to date with your progress; this may help support your case and aid your manager’s own CPD.
  • Be clear what you will be prepared to do with your own time and funds and where you need assistance.
  • Explore a range of funding options: can funds be provided from staff development budgets, or could costs be shared?


An alternate source of funding is a career development loan (CDL), a bank loan available to pay for learning that will enhance your job skills or career prospects but these will end in 2019.

Course specific bursaries are available from the ILM see their page at

If you are training for medicine, dentistry or healthcare you may get an NHS bursary.

Trainee social workers may be able to access a social work bursary. Teachers must apply for student finance but postgraduate trainees may qualify for a bursary.

If you are unemployed other funding may be available such as a Parents Learning Allowance or Childcare Grant, see 

For further Career Management advice please contact us on 0333 240 8115 or email

Posted: Tuesday 19 June 2018

Copyright © 2014  Career Directed Solutions - Site map