MOST MANAGERS WILL support your development if they believe that you are a good investment. But what if you want to move jobs? It's a Catch-22 situation: to find a new job, you need new skills, but you cannot expect your manager to support the development of skills that seem irrelevant to your current work. The solution is to adopt a creative, long-term perspective, reassuring your manager of your immediate commitment, and finding opportunities to develop new skills in a way that is able to add value to your department. Imagine you work in customer services, but plan to eventually move into public relations. To achieve this goal, you need to develop writing skills. But simply asking your manager if you can attend a writing skills course is unlikely to get a positive response. After all, excellent writing skills are not essential for a role in customer services. However, if you can find a way to develop these skills while improving the performance of the customer service team, you will be much more likely to gain the support of your manager. You could say: 'I know it's difficult for you to find time to share information with the team, so what about setting up a departmental newsletter. I really enjoy writing and would be happy to take on this responsibility, but I may need a short course in business writing to update my skills. What do you think?' But realise that an employer who has invested in you will expect a return. You must fulfil your promise to bring benefits to the business before moving to your next job.