Navigating A Career Change While Staying Put

September 28th, 2020

If you want to change careers within the same company, we recommend following these steps:

  • Understand how Career/Job changes happen within your organization. Does your company have any policies or guidelines? Speak to HR to understand the process. Do you know anyone who has switched careers? Can you speak to them to learn more about how they did it?
  • Identify and research the role/job you want to have and find out the skills/competencies required for that position. (You can do this be reading a job description or a job posting if there is a current opening, informally speaking with someone in that role or speaking to the manager of that team.)
  • Assess your skills and competencies against the requirements of the roles and determine if you have any skill gaps you might need to fill. (Also make note of any relevant experiences you have had that support your candidacy.) If you need to acquire a skill, research any options/tools available to you through the organization.
  • Depending on the switch you want to make and the culture of your organization – speak to your manager about your desire to make a shift and how that shift is aligned with your career development plans. Be clear about your continued commitment to your current position but also of your desire to make the move and ask for advice and support. (Often your manager can make an introduction for you or endorse your candidacy. They may also be able to give you an assessment of your skills/competencies and potential gaps.)
  • IF THERE IS A JOB OPENING: Update your resume and your LinkedIn profile as if you were applying for a position in another organization. Present an updated resume that reflects the experiences and skills for the job you WANT. Treat all conversations (even exploratory ones) as interviews and be prepared to make the case for your candidacy.
  • IF THERE IS NOT A JOB OPENING AT THIS TIME: Meet with the manager/leader of the new area you would like to transition to. Treat that meeting like an informational interview. Even if you are just exploring be prepared with your pitch and examples, this is a chance to make a good impression.
  • Stay in touch with the Manager/leader of the new area to make sure they know you are interested – if possible participate in projects that intersect with that group and keep your eye on job postings (also try to connect with other people on that team.)

By Teri Coyne, Director of Programs

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