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Love Your Company, Not Your Job? Seven Tips for Changing Roles within Your Organization

Feel like you’re at the right company but in the wrong role? I’ve been there, too. I made a big leap from my last position to a new company, new industry and new job. I was doing well but not succeeding in the way I had hoped, and I knew something had to change. I considered looking at opportunities outside of our firm, but I didn’t want to leave a company I loved. I just needed a different position to thrive and show my best. Thankfully, I had a team of encouraging and open managers who understood my situation and wanted to help. They strategized with me to find the best fit and helped me take the steps to get there. Reflecting on the experience, that change made all the difference in my career. If you’re thinking about changing roles within your organization, there are definitely things you can do and things you can avoid to make the experience positive. Here are some points to consider:

1. Think before you ask.

Consider the main tasks and areas of what you do and rank each 1-10 for how you feel about doing them. Also rate culture, flexibility and commute. If you find you love your company, commute and culture but don’t like three job responsibilities, then changing roles within your organization could be ideal. Conversely, after doing this exercise, you may realize you like your day-to-day work, but need a new environment in which to do it.

2. Don’t cry wolf.

You only get one or two shots to approach your manager about a change like this. If every week you are asking to apply to Finance, then HR then Sales then Operations – it will not look good. You want the company to know you are not a job hopper, but a valued employee looking to make a strategic move. Save your attempts for the one that really feels right.

3. This could be your way to break in.

When hiring, most companies want someone who has already done the job. If you have great administrative experience but haven’t handled any HR responsibilities, then you will have a hard time applying for HR roles. However, your current company knows you and may take a chance on you to train and learn HR. Plus, you already know the company, industry and people so you will be setting yourself up for greater success versus going somewhere new.

4. You may ruffle feathers (and that’s ok.)

Changing roles within your company should be a move you have thought about carefully and is important to you. If that’s the case and you have a great boss, they will support you and give you guidance. People on your team or within the organization may not initially feel good about it, but when you know you are doing the best thing for your career and your company, you will be able to stand by your decision. It’s worth it for the right move.

5. Don’t wait too long.

If you are so unhappy in your current role that you start coming in late, calling out sick or performing poorly, then it’s not the right time to ask for a favor. Be sure to ask when you are doing well and when your current boss can be a positive reference for you.

6. Don’t apply elsewhere.

If you want to leave your company, then apply to outside roles. But if you want to stay and move into a new area – do not apply to outside jobs or post your resume online. Doing so will not make you a “hotter commodity” internally but rather, will give the perception that you are unsure and may leave. It’s harder for management to commit and take a chance on you if you don’t come across as focused and determined for this internal move.

7. Don’t look back.

Once you have accepted the new role – commit to it wholeheartedly. Expect that the first few months will challenge you while you learn this new area and new team. Maybe you were the expert in your last role and now you will be the rookie but don’t let that shake your confidence. Give it your best and don’t look back. You made this move for a reason.

Moving within your organization requires a unique plan, approach and process. Take the time to do it right, and you will increase your chances of landing your best job!

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