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Feeling Stuck? Look Laterally Before Externally

We all have days where we’re just not feeling it at work. But if it’s more than a bad case of Mondays or midwinter doldrums, don’t jump ship. Today’s wild job market is all over the board. Explore new opportunities within your organization before you take the plunge!

The Society for Human Resource Management explains that “Recruiting new employees is not cheap…the average cost per hire was nearly $4,700. But many employers estimate the total cost to hire a new employee can be three to four times the position's salary.” Ouch!

For this reason, many companies will often work with you to find just the right fit rather than lose you altogether.

If you like your company culture, feel that you have growth potential, and have your needs met through your total compensation package (benefits, retirement, etc.) then read on for my step-by-step instructions to help you find your next role within your current organization!

Start by creating a list of the interests you have for future roles.

This can be as specific as a role title or as general as “working with people every day.” (Or NOT working with people every day!) Conduct informational interviews with co-workers about duties, day-to-day items, or questions you may have, and check the company’s online hiring portal or internal job board.

Schedule a meeting with your HR representative, manager, or a trusted mentor to see if they have connections or ideas about roles in the company that you can explore.

Even if a position isn’t posted now, they’ll know what you’re looking for when something does open up. Until then, you’re working and bringing in that comfortingly steady paycheck.

If you’ve decided EXACTLY which job you’d like, ask about sitting in on meetings in that department or with their team. If they have handbooks and guides, see about borrowing them to read in your free time.

Remember, keep your approaches polite. Don’t pester folks who are actively working in that area, instead be clear you’d just like to learn more for future opportunities. And know that just because you show genuine interest, does not mean that you will quickly make a jump. For many reasons, departments may have to say ‘no’ or ‘not now’.

Make sure your current supervisor or manager knows what’s going on.

They can be your biggest advocate in this process! Be open with them about what you’re looking for and why you’re considering a move. You don’t want to burn a recommendation or positive review which could impact future employers. They may even be able to rework your duties or even offer additional recommendations based on your goals.

Finally, confirm organizational policies so you can be set up for success.

Does your company require you to wait a designated time before transferring? Are lateral moves possible or do you have to apply like any outside applicant?

HR will know the details needed to make sure you are on the right track!


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