Professional Development: How to Get the “Yes”

We all know the runaround associated with getting a manager’s approval to attend an in-person professional development training or event. You find a training that meets your needs, check out the details, put together a good argument together as to why it’ll benefit you and your team, send it all over in an email and then…you wait.

The best-case scenario is that you’ll hear back in a few days or a week with an answer. But honestly (and unfortunately), the answer for a lot of government employees is no.

We understand the frustration in this situation and we want to help you get around it because training events are hugely important for furthering your gov career – something everyone deserves an opportunity to do.

The key to getting the “yes” from your supervisor to attend a training is to anticipate their questions and requirements. If you can think through what information they need and provide it before they have to ask, you’re more likely to get a positive response, sooner.


We want as many government employees and contractors as possible to join us this year at the NextGen Government Training Summit in Washington, D.C. on July 25-26, so we created an Approval Toolkit with everything you need to convince your boss to let you attend and get the professional development you need.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what you’ll get in the toolkit:

  • Justification Letter: We’ve done the legwork and wrote a letter you can use (and tweak) to explain why you should attend NextGen.
  • 2019 Agenda: Check out the sessions and speakers we have planned for this year’s Summit.
  • Group Discounts: Are your coworkers thinking about attending too? Check out the details (and perks!) for registering as a group.
  • SF-182 Form: In case you’re required to submit this form, we’ve pre-filled out the Summit details.
  • Payment Guide: We’ve created a quick reference doc to make payment easy for you and your finance department.
  • Bonus Promo Code! You’ll get a promo code to use for a discount on the registration rate just for downloading the toolkit!

The NextGen Summit was created ten years ago to help public servants get the training they need to drive their careers forward and we’ve been building on this mission ever since. Check out this year’s agenda but also keep an eye out for updates, including keynote speakers!

Questions about the Summit or need more help getting approval to attend? You can get in touch with us any time by emailing [email protected] or calling Blake Martin at 202-407-7447.

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