Perhaps you started working in one area of an organization and later realized your talents were better suited for another kind of work in a different part of the company. Or maybe you’ve worked in one place for a long time and are ready for something new but not “too new”.
You might really enjoy the benefits and values of the place you work, but aren’t a particular fan of your current manager’s working style. Whatever the reason, it IS possible to change jobs without changing employers. I’ve done it myself and I know several others who have too.
Just as with a traditional job search, networking is key to employing this strategy. I believe in networking as an every day ‘way of life’ – especially important to do BEFORE one needs something (like a job referral). So hopefully you have already made connections with those folks outside of your immediate working area. If not, now is the time to reach out.
If you don’t know where to start, a good place is your company website. You can research articles published on the “Press” or “Media” page and gain access to names of people you may not have even known were there.
Another good resource is your company’s social media pages. What’s being announced on Twitter? Who is posting on your company’s Facebook page? Reach out to start a conversation there – it is a great place to learn more!
Take On Extra Work
Another interesting tactic is to work with others outside of your immediate area. Are there projects in other departments you can put your talents to? Are there areas of the company in need of help? Showing your enthusiasm in this way highlights your commitment and initiative and lets others know you are interested in learning more. This also gives you a chance to feel out another department before making the leap.
Every job has its ups and downs, every department has its characters – this tactic ensures you have a little more knowledge under your belt before making the leap!
Our reputations precede us. And nowhere is this more true than in a company or organization. (Especially a small one!) You may feel invisible where you work, but chances are perceptions and impressions have been formed of you one way or another. What message are you giving out in your interactions at work? Do you sit in the corner of the cafeteria frowning into your Lean Cuisine or are you the one smiling at the shared copy machine – offering to fix paper jams for the person in front of you swearing under their breath at the machine?
Being nice goes a long way in the workplace – and if you are known for nothing else than simply being that person who says “Good morning!” in the hallway, it will have an effect on your ability to move around in the organization.
You might be surprised to find that the key decision maker for those internal HR transfers or job postings is that person who struggled changing the printer ink that day – and wouldn’t it be convenient if you were the person who had helped him figure it out? People want to be around people that make them feel good and that help. Period. Be that person and you will open up new sets of doors for yourself.
Did I Say Network?
I can’t emphasize this point enough. Especially when attempting to move within an organization. Internal transfers can be even harder to obtain then an external interview. I had the experience many years ago, early in my career, of wanting to transfer from an external client-facing role in a large consulting firm to an internal Human Resources support role where I felt my people development skills would be better utilized (I was crunching pension calculations in my client-facing role, not my most favorite way to pass the time!)
Lucky for me, I had been networking for months, and asking those that worked in internal HR for informational interviews. I had cultivated a friendship with someone working in the very role I coveted, and when a role came open she graciously called to let me know that they were interviewing. I ended up interviewing against 25 other candidates, but I do believe that one of the things that most prepared me for getting the role, was my awareness of the work required to be successful in the position- something I gained through those informational interviews and personal connections.
Moving jobs internally without changing employers may seem at first like a daunting task, but it is possible! Reach out and make those connections, and soon you may find yourself in a whole new position without having to change your parking space!