Author Topic: How to approach expressing interest in another department with the same employer  (Read 9688 times)

EconDiva

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So I have a pretty good job with a pretty good company that I've only been with for a year.  Recently I've discovered I'm really interested in another department within the same company.  By interested, I mean from what I've heard about it, it seems like it would be a great fit for me.  Why?  Well partly because there seems to be a tad bit more creativity involved which appeals to me greatly.  Another major factor is the department is virtual, which means I could move back to the south where I'm originally from (which means a lower cost of living, a much faster track to FI, and probably an overall increase in my level of happiness since I'll be back closer to my family/friends).  Lastly, without getting into too much detail, I'd say that my current position is more of a 'jack of all trades' meaning I manage a TON of stuff and sometimes feel like I never get to dive into things 'in depth enough' to become an expert on any particular topic.  This department focuses on a certain area that would be a little more specialized which appeals to me because I like the idea of being able to hone in on a certain area and be extremely adept at it/know everything about it.

My boss approached me recently about the possibility of a promotion at the end of this year.  Supposedly it's very likely.  However, I'm really interested in looking into what this other department does more.  They're currently expanding and I've got notifications they've hired 3 people since the beginning of this year.  At first I thought we'd be working with this department and I'd have a chance to put my face out there to them, but we won't be on my particular project.

How do I best approach finding out more info at this point?  I think if I tell my boss I'm interested in working elsewhere it won't go well.  But at the same time I eventually need to be able to talk to the people in the other department and do some face-to-face informational interviews or something of that sort.  Also, should I wait until I get a promotion in my current department before even pursuing the other role?  My thought is that I'd be able to negotiate off of the higher salary from the promotion.  Also, every position in my company is at a certain 'grade'.  If I wait to bump up to the next grade, I'd be more valuable to the other department, as they hire at grade levels two levels above my current one (hope that makes sense to everyone). 



mandy_2002

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With my employer, we have EDP's, Employee Development Plans, where the employee writes what type of opportunities they are interested in and why.  Do you have anything like this? 

Are the divisions competitive?  At my location, this is really just based on the leaders that you're working with, and how they get along.  If you think you would do a better job for the company, and be more valuable there, get a feel for your leader's attitude toward this other area and talk to him/her.  Since you said that you would be more valuable with the promotion, I would wait until after the promotion in case the conversation does any damage. 

(Hopefully this is obvious, but) Do not mention the desire to go virtual in making your case for this position.  The company may want you to be happy doing what you're doing, but from my experience they probably don't care about making your life easier. 

EconDiva

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With my employer, we have EDP's, Employee Development Plans, where the employee writes what type of opportunities they are interested in and why.  Do you have anything like this? 

Are the divisions competitive?  At my location, this is really just based on the leaders that you're working with, and how they get along.  If you think you would do a better job for the company, and be more valuable there, get a feel for your leader's attitude toward this other area and talk to him/her.  Since you said that you would be more valuable with the promotion, I would wait until after the promotion in case the conversation does any damage. 

(Hopefully this is obvious, but) Do not mention the desire to go virtual in making your case for this position.  The company may want you to be happy doing what you're doing, but from my experience they probably don't care about making your life easier.

We do have EDPs here and I can look into changing mine to incorporate my desire to learn certain responsibilities that would fall in line with the other role.  Honestly I'm not sure yet how much weight management gives to these just because everyone's so busy and just trying to accomplish whatever task at hand is most important.  Outside of the EDP I do think somehow I need to have a type of conversation with my boss that lets her know my interest in that area but am not sure how to go about it. 

Our divisions are not competitive; they work towards similar goals.  The other division is just focused on one/two particular areas that word towards accomplishing that goal.  My current division literally basically works with almost all other divisions.  During my review my boss made the comment in so many words that 'our division is the place to be and where everyone else wants to come'.  I do think I need to find out what people across other areas think about the other division but it would be hard asking around without word getting back I've been asking....

I definitely won't be saying anything to anyone about wanting to work remotely. 

ZiziPB

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Does your company do internal job postings?  Can you apply for a position in that department? 

As to grades, you may be valuable as a lower grade because presumably you get paid less than the grades above you, so you'd be less of a hit on their budget.

EconDiva

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Does your company do internal job postings?  Can you apply for a position in that department? 

As to grades, you may be valuable as a lower grade because presumably you get paid less than the grades above you, so you'd be less of a hit on their budget.

Yes, they do internal job postings.  However, I work in a place where it's frowned upon to apply to an internal job without discussing it with management. 

Recently, my boss told me that a colleague of mine is looking for another opportunity in another division (which would be a promotion for her).  My boss had made the comment that you can't just go looking and applying in other departments here without discussing it with your boss...she said 'there's no way that would go over well here'.  So it's definitely a delicate situation.


jba302

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Maybe your boss already knows you are looking, seems like a hell of a hint to be dropping out of nowhere.

EconDiva

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Maybe your boss already knows you are looking, seems like a hell of a hint to be dropping out of nowhere.

Oh no, this was like 6 months ago and I'd only been here for 6 months and definitely wasn't looking at the time of this conversation.  I haven't been looking to be honest, I just know that I'd like to look into this other division.  The way the conversation went was I had made a comment that it was great that my colleague was keeping her in the loop with everything about the other position and my boss then made the comment basically alluding to that 'she'd better if she wants to continue to work with this company'.  Of course my boss didn't say that but it's exactly how it came off lol.

Exflyboy

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Your over thinking this.. Sounds to me like your boss has his own issues.

I would go talk to your boss and tell him you will be applying for the position and here are the reasons why (I probably wouldn't divulge the part about doing the job remotely, but all the other reasons are sound).. Tell him it sounds like a win-win, i.e you would like to use your creative juices for the benefit of yourself and the company.

Remember your not asking his permission to apply, just that your excited about the position so your going to throw your hat in the ring.

Some bosses have been known to block employee moves.. as an ex manager I can tell you thats the worse possible thing he could for everybody. If he hoes that then its time for a conversation with your HR department.

You do want to talk to him though because you want his blessing, his recommendation to your potential new boss and to help each other with a workable transition plan.

He has asked you to tell him upfront.. so do so..

Then apply.. simple as that.

EconDiva

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Your over thinking this.. Sounds to me like your boss has his own issues.

I would go talk to your boss and tell him you will be applying for the position and here are the reasons why (I probably wouldn't divulge the part about doing the job remotely, but all the other reasons are sound).. Tell him it sounds like a win-win, i.e you would like to use your creative juices for the benefit of yourself and the company.

Remember your not asking his permission to apply, just that your excited about the position so your going to throw your hat in the ring.

Some bosses have been known to block employee moves.. as an ex manager I can tell you thats the worse possible thing he could for everybody. If he hoes that then its time for a conversation with your HR department.

You do want to talk to him though because you want his blessing, his recommendation to your potential new boss and to help each other with a workable transition plan.

He has asked you to tell him upfront.. so do so..

Then apply.. simple as that.

Myself and my boss are both females :)

In regards to the other division, I am interested in working there but like I said this is based only on what I've heard.  I haven't had the opportunity to discuss the role with anyone who actually works in the division yet which is why I posed the question of how best to approach this.  In other words, there isn't currently an open position in the other division.  Rather, I'd like to learn more about it to see if it definitely is a good fit, put my name out there to them if it is (so they'll keep me in mind for the next open role), then apply once something opens up.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 11:44:31 AM by EconDiva »

Exflyboy

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Yup sounds good.. Research first then tell your boss, then apply when a position opens up.

I would also recommend you develop a relationship with a senior manager in that group. You might even send them your resume if you like what you see and tell them you'd be interested in future opportunities.