Switching Jobs Internally

When you first started applying for jobs, did you already know what exactly you wanted to do? For those few of you who did, we are all jealous. And for those of us who haven’t quite figured it out, don’t fret — it makes sense that you don’t have your full career path mapped out yet.

Every time you start a new job, at a new company, working with people from different departments, there are probably hundreds of opportunities you hadn’t thought of before. These days, people change jobs on average every four years. And changing jobs is not something small. A lot of time and effort is devoted, both on your end and your employer.

  • What if you like the company you work for and are just looking for a change?
  • How do you go about moving to a new job internally?

Changing jobs inside your current company has some significant benefits. Not only is your employer more likely to take a chance on you—after all, you’ve already proven yourself—but some companies specifically have programs that facilitate internal transfers of employees, making it easy to make a change.

Of course, successfully transitioning to a new role requires some careful navigation. So, if you’re looking to make a lateral move at your current company, follow the tips and tricks laid out in this guide, from how to find a new role to how to make the transition smoothly.

1. Research the open position

Learning as much as you can about an internal job posting will help you decide whether you want to apply for the position. You can talk to employees who already have the job you are considering to learn about several important pieces of information, including:

  • Their opinion of the position and the duties involved,
  • The most enticing aspects of the job, including responsibilities and potential salary, and
  • What they believe are the most important qualifications to be successful in the role.

2. Talk to your manager or HR

Whether you talk to your manager or HR, communicating your desire to transfer to another department is the first step to making that move. Remember to consider the pros and cons of moving to another department before bringing it up with anyone to make sure it is something you want to achieve. Being certain will show your manager and HR that you are serious about making a move and being proactive about it.

3. Engage with other colleagues from the department you wish to join

Moving departments might not be as simple as asking one day and moving the next. During this process, why not look for opportunities to interact with colleagues in that department. Why not consider volunteering on any internal projects you could lend your hand to? It is an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills and talents and your willingness to go above and beyond.

It will keep your mind stimulated and will make waiting for your transfer to be official much less stressful.

4. Take The Interview Seriously

Don’t assume you have the job in the bag simply because you already work for the company. The average job opening receives 250 applications, so you’ll likely be up against external applicants who will enter their interview in full force. Rise to the occasion and use your internal knowledge to your advantage.

Talk about projects you have worked on with the team you are applying to join. Connect your current role to the new position.

Whatever you do, don’t check out your current job. Remember, you’re looking to stay within your organization, and reputation precedes itself. If you stop giving it your all in your current role, word of mouth may spread, and a new hiring manager may be reluctant to work with you. Your goal is to maintain your reputation as a great employee and continue to show your commitment to the organization you’re with—even if you’re not currently working for the ideal department or team you have envisioned just yet.

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