Advance Your Career by Making an Internal Transfer
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
In difficult economic times, an internal transfer can provide many of the advantages of a new position without the risks of looking for a completely new job.
Consider these reasons for making an in-house move and strategies for accomplishing a successful transition.
Benefits of Making an Internal Transfer
1. Learn new skills. Assuming a new role in your company gives you an opportunity to branch out. If you’ve been crunching numbers for the past few years, now is the time to master writing proposals. You are already familiar with the company culture and the industry so this will be another way to learn more about the industry from a different angle.
2. Expand your network. Changing departments will help to raise your visibility within the company. Interacting with another team enables you to form new alliances while maintaining access to your old coworkers.
3. Increase your job security. Many companies value a well rounded employee. Seeing the business from multiple perspectives gives you an advantage in understanding how all the parts work together.
4. Hold onto your benefits. If you’ve been in your current job for a while, you may have built up valuable benefits such as extra vacation time. You may also like the idea of keeping your current health insurance and sticking with your current doctors. In addition, you can hold on to the positive, professional reputation you have already established in the company. People in your department already know that you are hardworking, trustworthy and a team player so you will simply be expanding your excellent reputation throughout the company with this internal move.
5. Feel more motivated. It’s easy to feel stagnant when you’ve been doing the same thing year after year. Enjoy the excitement of mixing things up, learning new skills, and even getting a different office/desk. A change of scenery and tasks can be extremely refreshing and energizing.
6. Take on new challenges. Whether your new position is a promotion or lateral move, it’s an opportunity to test your abilities and grow.
7. Minimize stress. In-house options can be a pleasant blend of familiarity and change. You get to make a fresh start without the upheaval that goes along with starting over with a brand new company. You know how to use the phone, where to park and, most importantly, where to find the coffee…some the basics are already taken care of not to mention that you probably already have friends. Isn’t it nice to know that you don’t have to eat lunch alone?
Strategies for Making Your Internal Transfer Successful
1. Consider the whole picture. It’s always nice to get a raise. It may be even more important to assess any transfer in terms of how it will advance your career in the long run and add to your job satisfaction. Evaluate all the factors involved. Make a list of pros/cons and then rank them in order of importance.
2. Make an impact. Get to know the priorities of your new supervisor and the culture of your new unit. Hit the ground running by making contributions that will get noticed and demonstrate your worth.
1. Get to know your new colleagues. Our relationships with our coworkers play a big part in whether or not we enjoy our work. Invite people out to lunch. Merge your new friends with your old friends. Volunteer for assignments that will help you grow your skill set and enable you to work side by side with people you can learn from.
2. Preserve old ties. If you’ve grown close to the people in your department, it’s reassuring to know that you’re sticking close to home. You can still get together to socialize and see each other around the office. You may help build bridges between the 2 departments since you have worked in one department and you are now working in another.
3. Facilitate a smooth transition. Prepare a written report on your outstanding projects and deadlines, if applicable, so your successor knows where to pick up. Make yourself available for any questions he/she may have. If possible, create a training manual with at least the basic ins and outs of your responsibilities.
4. Address any discipline issues. While lateral moves can be a very good thing, they’re sometimes viewed with caution because of cases where they cover up issues by transferring an employee rather than dealing directly with conflicts or deficiencies. Be honest with yourself and welcome feedback about areas where you may need to improve.
5. Reevaluate your goals. Whenever you shake up your routine, it can be a good opportunity to review all aspects of your life. You may decide you also want to take some additional courses or even exercise more. This one small change can lead to bigger, positive changes across your life.
When you’re reluctant to switch employers, you can advance your career through an internal transfer. Look for internal opportunities in your current workplace and hit the ground running in your new role with these tips.