How to change roles internally

Changing careers internally doesn't happen in the blink of an eye.

An internal position switch isn’t always as self-evident as it may seem. We’ve rounded up nine ways to prepare yourself for your internal role change.

When thinking of changing jobs to advance your career, the first thing you often think off is to look outside of your current employer. But if the company you’re currently working for is great, it’s only the assignments that don’t match your skills and interests anymore, your internal job board might be a good place to start instead. Especially if you work for a mid-to-large-sized company, there is a possibility that there are new openings and better opportunities on a regular basis.

An internal position switch isn’t always as self-evident as it may seem. We’ve rounded up nine ways to prepare yourself for your internal role change.

1. Start asking questions

The first thing you need to do if you are considering a career change and might want to stay within the same company is to do your research. Find out everything there is to know about other departments and teams, what they do, how they work, who the people are, etc. Once you know all the ins and outs of the company, you can decide whether or not you would want to stay in the event the right job comes along.

2. Expand your internal network

The next step is to break out of your comfortable office space and connect with people outside of your department or team. Ideally, you would already have built an internal network before you attempt a move. If not, get started right away. Make sure people in other departments know you are and have heard about some of your accomplishments. Having friends in other departments might benefit you when a new job with them is opening up.

3. Browse your company’s pages on Careers24

If an internal role change is something you’re interested in, another great starting point is to browse your company on Careers24. Find out where the opportunities are and take a look at the requirements for the post. Once your profile is updated, all you have to do is click Apply on any job you’re interested in. This minimises the time spent on job hunting too.

4. Strengthen your performance

In an ideal world you are an exemplary employee who piles up one accomplishment after another. Truth is, we are all human and will probably have less productive periods from time to time. If you’re planning on making a position switch, you need to start bringing your A-game to the table. You want to prove to the organisation that you can bring value to the team and are very capable for a new role.

5. Update your CV

If your CV hasn’t changed since you’ve gotten your current job, it’s time to update it. Add new responsibilities you may have gotten since and showcase how you have grown in the past couple of years.

6. Identify your motives

Once all the personal preparations have been made, it’s time to identify your motives. You have to have a good reason to manoeuvre into a different job. It’s not just about your career growth and long-term interests, but also about how it will benefit the company, because they will need to replace you.

7. Market yourself

Market yourself as the perfect woman (or man) for the job. Emphasize on how the role change will benefit the department’s strategic goals and priorities. Try to get someone to advocate for you as the perfect candidate for the job.

8. Be flexible

Make it easy for your employer to agree to the change. Show that you are committed to learning by investing your time in internal training initiatives. On top of that, be willing to make the transition as smooth as possible by combining parts of the two roles for a short period of time. Be flexible about the new responsibilities and the salary. Once you have proven that you are indeed the perfect candidate for the job, you can start asking for more perks and benefits.

9. Exit and enter well

You need to keep performing strong until the very last second in your previous department before you make the change. Show your commitment to the firm and make sure everything is left in a way that makes the transition for your successor as easy as possible. In other words, don’t leave lots of unfinished work.

Also accept that the transitioning period might take some time; it won’t just happen like in blink of an eye. Ease your way out of your current job, and make sure your entry into the new position is equally as smooth. 

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