Career Change Without Leaving Your Organization

Sections of this topic

    You love the company, the culture and the people. The problem is that you’re bored in your current job. Things are too predictable and you’re no longer challenged. But you’re not ready to chuck it all. You have too much invested.

    Many of us will change our career a number of times in our working lives. But that doesn’t mean we have to move to a different company. Rather, we first should look to change careers within our current organization. For example, an IT manager, with great people skills, might decide that her future lies in business development; or a health care professional with her new MBA might want to make a move into the finance department.

    Here are seven guidelines to help you get ready for a career change to get greater career satisfaction:

    1. Assess your career goals.
    Before you rush into any decision, spend time thinking about your personal interests, values and skills. This helps ensure that you’ll make a move that’s aligned with those goals. See Career Anchors and Career Personalities.
    2. Carefully consider the risks of this decision.
    You might think that the new career will be a perfect fit for you, but what if it’s not? Do information interviewing, do a cost-benefit analysis, investigate alternatives. It’s better to know now the risks than later.
    3. Create a transition plan.
    Write down the new responsibilities you’ll have in your new career. Identify the qualifications or skills that you’ll need, and create a plan to start acquiring them, Look for assignments or projects that will expand your skills and help you make the move.
    4. Talk to human resources.
    It’s a good idea to sit down with someone in HR to find out what opportunities are available. They can also advise on training and other development opportunities as well as possible openings.
    5. Keep your boss in the loop.
    Explain to him diplomatically and honestly, why you want to change careers or move to another department. Offer to be a mentor for your replacement. If you can get your manager’s support, your transition will be easier.
    6. Expand your network company wide.
    You never know what opportunities will open up in the future. The larger your network, the more chances you’ll have to hear about interesting opportunities.
    7. Rewrite your resume that markets you for the new career.
    Include past successes that relate to the new career you want. For instance, if you currently work in human resources and want to move to marketing, then talk about your successful pitch to the executive team to change the hiring process to get more qualified staff.

    Career Success Tip:

    There are many benefits to changing career within your organization, rather than looking for opportunities elsewhere. You already know the company and you don’t have to leave a workplace that you already like. The company benefits as well. You have a proven track record and you know the people to hit the ground running. But realize, changing careers may take time and it helps to prepare beforehand. Also see Make Career Change Work for You and Changing Jobs: Don’t Have Buyer’s Remorse.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?