How an Internal Transfer Can Advance Your Career

In challenging or uncertain economic times, a transfer inside your existing company can provide many of the advantages of a new position without the risks of looking for a completely new job.

Consider these reasons for making an in-house move and strategies for accomplishing a successful transition.

Benefits of Making an Internal Transfer

1. Learn new skills and diversity your skill set. Assuming a new role in your company gives you an opportunity to branch out and gain both a new skill set and additional confidence. If you’ve been crunching numbers for the past few years, now is the time to master writing proposals, leading training sessions, or marketing.

2. Expand your network. Changing departments will help to raise your visibility within your company. Interacting with another team enables you to form new alliances while maintaining access to your old coworkers.

3. Increase your job security. Many companies place additional value on well rounded employees – and showing the initiative to learn new skills lets management know you’re not just resting on your laurels. Seeing the business from multiple perspectives gives you an advantage in understanding how all the parts work together.

4. Hold onto your benefits and seniority. If you’ve been in your current job for a while, you may have built up valuable benefits like extra vacation time, and time on the job. You may also like the idea of keeping your current health insurance and sticking with the same doctors.

5. Feel more motivated. It’s easy to get a little stale and dissatisfied when you’ve been doing the same thing year after year. Enjoy the excitement of mixing things up and renew your enthusiasm for the work you’ll be doing.

6. Take on new challenges. Whether your new position is a promotion or lateral move, it’s a chance to test your abilities and grow. Stretching and growing is a great way to increase your satisfaction level.

7. Minimize stress. In house options can be a pleasant blend of familiarity and change. You get to make a fresh start without the upheaval that goes along with starting over with a brand new company.

Strategies for Making a Successful Internal Transfer

1. Consider the entire picture. It’s always nice to get a raise. It may be even more important to assess any transfer in terms of how it will advance your career in the long run and add to your job satisfaction. Evaluate all the factors involved.

2. Make an impact. Get to know the priorities of your new supervisor and the culture of the unit. Hit the ground running by making contributions that will get noticed and demonstrate your worth.

3. Get to know your new colleagues. Our relationships with our coworkers play a big part in whether we enjoy our work. Invite people out to lunch. Volunteer for assignments that enable you to work side by side with people you can learn from.

4. Preserve old ties. If you’ve grown close to the people in your department, it’s reassuring to know that you’re sticking close to home. You can still get together to socialize and see each other around the office.

5. Facilitate a smooth transition. Prepare a written report on your outstanding projects so your successor knows where to pick up. Make yourself available for any questions they may have.

6. Address any discipline issues. While lateral moves can be a very good thing, they’re sometimes viewed with caution because of cases where they cover up issues by transferring an employee rather than dealing directly with conflicts or deficiencies. Be honest with yourself and welcome feedback about areas where you need to improve.

7. Reevaluate your goals. Whenever you shake up your routine, it can be a good opportunity to review all aspects of your life. You may decide you also want to take some adult education classes or exercise more.

When it’s not a good time to switch employers, you can advance your career through an internal transfer. Look for opportunities in your current workplace and get off to great start in your new role with these tips.