Just when you thought you were satisfied with the position you’re in, a new job opening comes up, and lo and behold, it’s at the company you currently work for. What to do if you’re interested in adding yourself to the candidate pool? Two career experts weigh in on the dos and don’ts of applying within your company.
To Tell, or Not to Tell?
You may wonder whether to share your plan to apply with your supervisor. Hallie Crawford, MA, CPCC, says it’s only common courtesy to privately inform your supervisor. “Let her know how much you have appreciated working with her but that you would like to try a different skill set, orthat you are looking for a way to expand in the industry and this is a great opportunity.”
Career Coach Win Sheffield feels it’s important to have an ongoing conversation with your supervisor regarding advancement–plan to do so on a quarterly basis, even. That way you’ll “develop a mutual understanding of options for moving ahead.” Transparency is important, especially if you wish to remain at the company in your current role or in a new one.
Why Weren’t You Told About the Job?
If you feel you are perfect for this new opening, understanding why weren’t you promoted from within or at least given a shot to fill the role can be perplexing. It may be time to question your manager, suggests Sheffield, but proceed with discretion. “Ask what characteristics and skills are being sought for moving ahead. Request suggestions for which you would do best to work on.”
Crawford warns not to put your manager on the defensive, but instead to set a meeting letting her know why you feel you are qualified. “Ask if there was a specific reason they are looking for someone else. It’s OK to ask, just approach it carefully, and let her know it’s fine for to be direct with you, and that you’d appreciate the feedback.”
Will Your Standing or Reputation Be Affected If You Apply?
Unless your manager or company isn’t interested in seeing their employees flourish, then your choice to apply should only be viewed as a positive thing.
“Companies understand that their employees will want to continue to rise in their career and not stay in the same position forever,” affirms Crawford. “If anything, your superiors will see that you’re looking for ways to branch out and expand your career, which will affect your reputation positively. Sheffield concurs, “Your move will show initiative and be recognized.”
Broaching the Subject of Salary
If the new role pays more than your current job, you will certainly want–and need–to inquire about a raise. Sheffield recommends being clear about the value you bring to the table. “Ask what’s required of a raise, do it, and then demonstrate that you’ve done it. Also, be on good terms with the people who influence compensation decisions.”
Crawford reminds how important research is to this process. “Look into how much the position normally pays in your area. If a company can get away with hiring internally without giving a raise, they may try to do so. Let them know what you have researched and what you feel would be a fair amount. Then you can negotiate salary as you would for any new job position.”
So, the experts agree… go for it! You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Even if you don’t land the job, your company will notice your drive and determination. You may just get the next role when one comes up.
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