Growing your career doesn’t always mean having to change companies every time you’re ready to advance—internal opportunities and promotions can be a great way to take the next step.
If that’s your situation and there are opportunities for you to consider as part of your career development, here are just some of the things to think about:
There is a big distinction between whether you want to take a step up to more responsibility—and maybe supervise the position you hold now—or shift to a completely different set of responsibilities.
Promotions are the logical step in many career paths, especially once you’ve found a company that fits you well, but the having that company, understanding its work and seeing opportunities to do other work may mean that you an open position in another department is an attractive option.
Stepping up can mean taking on added pressure and responsibility; stepping over is more about new challenges. Think about how those might affect you before plunging ahead.
Internal interviews can be very different animals from when you got hired from outside of the organization. Chances are, you and the person or people performing the interview know each other, and your work may be the reason that you have the interview to begin with. So what do you have to talk about?
These internal moves are the time to talk about your vision and motivation for the position. You have career goals and want to succeed, and you have goals and vision for the project, and those things make you an excellent candidate. Do you enjoy working with the team in question? Do you have new qualifications, like education, that you’re eager to put to use? These are great topics to discuss.
It’s worth it to check in with Human Resources about the internal interview process, too, to find out how you should prepare and what might be expected of you.
Team dynamics are so important to having a satisfying work experience. If you take a promotion, will you be able to supervise your former colleagues? It can be hard to separate personal relationships from professional responsibilities, so be careful. On the flip side, does the team you might move to seem like a good fit? Here are some suggestions for getting along well with co-workers.
One thing you should be able to do, though, is continue to contribute to your old team as projects require collaboration. Having two different sets of responsibility and combining those with leadership experience will be a big benefit to your career growth.
While there’s some truth to the saying that people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses, chances are that your internal move has more to do with opportunity and you at least have a positive working relationship with your supervisor.
But your potential new job will mean reporting to somebody else—you’ll need to understand that person’s expectations, how they communicate and how you can complement one another, among other things. Do you know that person well? Do you think you’ll work together well?
There are other considerations to make, too, like how your salary and benefits may be impacted (moving between departments can mean losing seniority, for instance) or how the move might affect the career plan you’ve put together. If you have those kinds of questions, your HR department should be able to help.