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I am a technical team lead on the information security team where I work. Our team and company encourages employees to pursue training and employees have a wide choice in how they want to pursue professional development.

I found this training event hosted by a professional cybersecurity organization of ISACA that fits well with what I currently do, cybersecurity operations and advisory. Even though I am an ISACA member, it will still cost approximately 1000 dollars to attend. Our company has a training budget that can cover this, however, I also have 5 team members who also want to attend other trainings and virtual conferences. The price tag for 6 of us will exceed our team's training budget by a significant amount. Our budget for this year is already approved so asking for more money is not an option. I am the most senior member on the team, so in a sense junior members may benefit from more training than myself.

I am willing to cover partial cost out of my pocket and only use partial company training budget to maximize opportunity for all team members to attend training. I have great standing in the team and company and am highly respected.

How do I approach my manager to see if split payment is possible?

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  • Is it 1000 per member or 1000 for everyone? And is the training budget for everyone or individuals? If it is individuals, why wouldn't the budget cover it for everyone? Personally I would not pay for it. – Dan Mar 22 at 14:15
  • It is per member – Anthony Mar 22 at 14:30
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    If you do wish to pay for part of it yourself, see if it is tax deductible, or see if it can be taken out of your pay. – Gregory Currie Mar 22 at 15:21
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    Also, looking at that course, a cancellation fee, and wholly non-refundable after a certain date, is amusing to me. It's a zoom call. Lots of pockets to line in the InfoSec world. – Gregory Currie Mar 22 at 15:25
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    @Anthony If your company's senior management hold your team in such high regard as you've mentioned, then they absolutely should cover the full cost. The company makes the investment, not employees – RN_ Mar 22 at 23:11
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"How do I approach my manager to see if split payment is possible?"

I was in a similar situation for a quite expensive training course regarding OTP's - we ended up in splitting the costs since budget was already carved in stone. I don't think it's unprofessional as @Fattie stated in his answer since, in regards to mentioned circumstances, it was still a win-win situation for me and the company.

I would simply contact your manager in writing stating the importance and the possible benefits of the training for the company and the team as well as mention that you are aware of the fact that the yearly consolidated budget would be exceeded by X-amount of $ if all of your team-members will attend.

In the next paragraph I would ask him if they would accept that the difference would be payed by the individuals attending the mentioned training and if they are keen that all members of the team would attend and the dates of the training wont interfere with any important schedules (Keep in mind that they might need some or all members in case of an emergency, important meeting, deadline, milestone that week).

Something along the lines of:

Hey [enter name here]! Our team recently found out that there's a really useful training event named [enter name here] held at [enter location and date-range]. Our company and the team would really benefit from this training-event because [enter plausable reasons here].

I am aware that the yearly budget for our team is exceeded by [enter $-delta here] since the sign-up fee is around [enterx-amount of $ here] for each person attending. Would it be possible that the difference is payed by each individual that would like to attend?

Also, would the date [enter date-range here] interfere with any important, upcoming schedules, meetings or milestones/deadlines?

Best, [enter your name here]

Note: Make sure all of your team members are on-board with the idea and are also willing to attend and pay-up for the difference. Also keep the option in mind that if someone doesn't want to attend, they might be willing to pass their share of the yearly training budget to the other members to reduce the difference for them.

Another option would be (as mentioned by the others) to ask your manager to talk to their superiors, notifiying them that a temporary budget increase this year in order to meet the amount needed would be beneficial to the company for certain reaons.

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    This only works if the cost of the other 5 trainings does not exceed the budget. Asking other employees to cover their own training is a big ask. Offering to do it yourself is something else entirely. – Donald Mar 22 at 14:50
  • @Donald I'm not 100% sure if the OP is willing to pay up for the overall difference, maybe the OP can clarify. But thats why I wrote the last paragraph.. – iLuvLogix Mar 22 at 14:53
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I am willing to cover partial cost out of my pocket

I would set that idea aside.

To put it as simply as possible: it's just not professional.

You don't "pay for things yourself" as a professional. Do everything in a business-like manner.

How do I approach my manager to see if split payment is possible?

Simply discuss the issue with the manager. Don't present it as "something you want".

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    Companies partially covering expenses (especially up to some budget or limit) is not particularly uncommon in my experience. In fact, I would probably expect that from pretty much every company if you, say, start overspending on a business trip. Although I would agree that you should just start with a discussion. – NotThatGuy Mar 22 at 22:53
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    Covering "the gap" in costs could be seen as setting a precedent for further training sessions, where they start to expect some/senior/specific members to pay part of their own training costs. Not only is that unrealistic in many cases, but it also gives people the idea that the training budget can shrink, instead of grow. It also starts the slide towards "employees pay for all their own training" in a toxic environment. It's safer for the employee(s) to start a conversation with the manager, as suggested, about growing the budget, rather than offering cash up front. – computercarguy Mar 22 at 23:16
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    Take a million +points and give them to @computercarguy – Fattie Mar 23 at 10:24
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    @computercarguy If "People care enough about training to pay for it themselves" leads to "Just let them pay for their own training" instead of "Maybe we should pay for more of it to make them happier", then that's indeed quite a toxic environment where employees aren't valued at all. Nowhere I'd want to work. – NotThatGuy Mar 23 at 13:10
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    @NotThatGuy,the sad fact of the matter is that most of us already work for companies like that. Companies that expect you to do training and other education "on your own time" are forcing their employees to pay for their own training, especially the ones that expect you to take vaca or unpaid time off to go to industry conferences, seminars, etc., even when it's "just travel time". It's one thing to do this on your own because you like it, but a totally different thing when it's expected. Too many people don't realize they are in that trap, unfortunately. – computercarguy Mar 23 at 15:41
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You should consider asking that your manager goes to his superiors to get the budget increased just for this year, perhaps using some of next years’ allocation.

I would not suggest that all should personally pay a portion as some may be in difficult financial conditions...

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  • Good idea with the budget increase, but it doesn't seem to be an option: "Our budget for this year is already approved so asking for more money is not an option." – iLuvLogix Mar 22 at 15:16

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