The signs are all around. You’re ready for that next step. And you’re pretty sure you want to change jobs. But does that always mean heading straight for the door?
No! At least not without first considering your home advantages. You are already known within your current company. You know the culture, the players, and the possibilities. And quite often, moving “up” before moving “on” puts you in a stronger position.
So, before you reach for that door or a recruiter, why not look for internal opportunities to grow and boost your resume? Doing so could be a real win-win for you and your employer.
Be crystal clear about the type of role you want next and the skills and experience needed. In other words, clarify your stretch goals.
One way to do this is to pretend you’re preparing for the interview – what skills and experiences will you want to have under your belt? List them, research them, look for ones you already have but are perhaps in a different guise. Avoid falling into ‘role trap’ – break your experience down into its component parts rather than just listing roles (like “lawyer” or “mechanic”). And remember, you don’t need to find opportunities to fill every gap. Almost any new experience in and of itself will enhance your resume!
Look around your organisation. What IS available? Think in concentric circles: your own team; the broader department; other departments? You might find your organisation has stretch opportunities galore!
Are there group projects you could volunteer for ? What about a team priority that never seems to get off the ground? Offer to crack that nut, especially if it aligns with your stretch goals. What about someone going on leave – sabbatical, parental or even annual leave? Can you babysit someone’s work?
Don’t forget about formal learning. Seminars, conferences, even courses – attend everything that is offered at your company.
Ideally, your first approach would be to your manager, if they are supportive of people seeking new opportunities. (Otherwise, talk with your People and Culture team.) Who are your mentors and champions? How might they help you plan your approach?
Do your homework too. Ace that important conversation with your manager by preparing properly. Rather than saying “I’m getting ready to leave”, ask what projects might be coming up. Or offer to take something on.
If you’ve already identified an opportunity you want, present a clear business case outlining what’s in it for your manager and the company. And be prepared to illustrate how you’re going to do the extra work or re-distribute your other tasks. Who knows: perhaps your work could even be a stretch project for someone else? (The trifecta!).