How do I explain this to my boss?

I work for an insurance agency in New York. When I was hired a year ago it was, in part, because I am licensed to sell insurance in California, Texas, Florida and New York. I am one of only a handful of people in the office who holds a license in any state, let alone 4 of them. Since I have been here though I have not quoted, written or created a single policy as those responsibilities all belong to other people. My position doesn’t actually require me to have a license at all.

Part of being an insurance agent is keeping up with the continuing education to maintain your licenses. The company I worked for in Texas paid for my exams, training, license, and all of that as part of the benefits of working there. I moved out of state before I was able to take any continuing education classes towards the maintenance of my licenses though. My new company doesn’t pay for any of that stuff and expects that it will all be paid out of pocket. Because the job I do here doesn’t actually require use of my licenses I put the classes I needed to take on the back burner since it wasn’t something I was actively using and it seemed an unnecessary expense.

Now my boss wants to know where all of continuing education certificates are and when I will be renewing my licenses and changing my state of residence (I still show my Texas license as being my resident license.) If I were to go out and rush through all 30 hours of classes and put in renewal requests on all of my licenses that would cost me between $600 and $1000. That is a huge expense for something I don’t currently use in a job I don’t particularly enjoy. How can I explain to my boss that I don’t want to go through the cost and hassle of renewing my licenses without looking like I am extremely lazy, inept, or unappreciative?

I’d just tell him that I had been considering the issue of whether or not to keep up all those various licenses, since it costs a lot of money and isn’t really necessary for the job. Honest and opens the door for a discussion about whether or not HE thinks they’re necessary. If he does, then you might raise the issue of the time and expenses involved in doing this, and whether or not the company can “help”.

Do not at any point talk about not enjoying the job. As far as your boss needs to be concerned, it’s a time and money issue and an issue of whether or not you need those things.

I’m unclear, was keeping up your license a condition of your job? Did this come up in your interviews? If not, then would just tell them that you are not planning to maintain the license yourself, without company support. I’d mention the $600+ tag, but don’t make any comment about not being able to afford it, and definitely avoid any implication that you don’t want to bother because you’re not that into the job.

Either way what I would recommend is turning the question around on your boss. Ask them why they want you to have the license that you would not actually be using. Listen to response, and either explain how you are already meeting their needs or try to find a way to do so without any cost to yourself.

It wasn’t ever a condition of the job. It seems like they were excited about it but they never really felt that it was important enough for me to use regularly.

The best way I can explain it is that it is like if you interviewed with a day spa and you have your beautician’s license and and your massage therapy license and they say, “Oh, massage therapy! That is great! We offer massages here in our day spa. That will really come in handy!” and then for the next year you do nothing but hair cuts and make overs and one day your boss comes to you and says, “You know that massage therapy license? Have you been keeping up with that? We need your paperwork for that license.” It is nonsensical to maintain that license because you really have no use for it and it is way too expensive to hold onto because one day 3 or 4 years from now you hope that they might promote you to the massage therapy department.

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to these kind of situations.

Good luck.

I’d keep mum about the laziness aspect and say that since your current employer doesn’t require the CE and isn’t willing to pay for it, you see no reason to keep it up. If they want to pay for it, you’d be willing to take the courses.

recently my employer wanted all the employees to list their education and job experience, so they could use the info to snag prospective clients (“We have 3000 years of experience and 1% of our employees have their nose-hair removal certification”). I’ve completed paralegal training, and used that at my last job. However, at this job, I don’t use it and wasn’t given an interview when there was an open job that would use it. They don’t pay me to be a paralegal. So I didn’t put that down. Why should they get the benefit of my hard work unless they’re willing to pay me for it?


One other tip is to keep in mind some intermediate negotiating positions. Maybe you renew your licenses in one or more key states, but not all of them. Maybe you get moved into a role that pays a little better and uses your licenses.

What Chimera said.

Emphasize that you have not required the use of these licenses in the past year, and that you’d be out of office for 30 hours in order to take all the classes needs to renew everything. Phrase it in such a way that it’s about them, not about you.