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Navigating the Internal Transfer: How to Transfer Positions Within Your Current Company Successfully

Transitions are a natural part of your professional development. Whether you’re taking on a role at a different company, accepting a promotion, making a lateral career move, or preparing for an internal transfer, transitionary periods can be a gateway to new, exciting opportunities in your career. Keep in mind, however, that career shifts of any magnitude require ample preparation, time, and effort.

For many marketers, transferring jobs within your current company can be an excellent option to explore other career prospects. Maintaining familiarity with a company’s culture and internal systems is an added benefit that can make the transition easier.

Transferring within an organization also offers more opportunities to interact with people in the department you’re interested in. Your colleagues are an invaluable resource. Connecting and asking questions about the position will help you determine if transferring internally is right for you. Your colleagues’ experiences are also a great source of information. Their first-hand knowledge can inform you of a job’s day-to-day responsibilities, as well as what skills and knowledge are necessary for success.

Is an internal transfer right for you? That’s wholly dependent on you. Before formally requesting a transfer, it’s important to do your research and weigh the benefits of this route. To help you make your decision, let’s do a deep dive into what you can expect when transferring jobs within the same company.

Preparation and research for internal transitions

Research is an important step to preparing to switch jobs within the same company. You want to be certain about pursuing any career shift. Rather than approaching a potential transfer without direction, identifying the specific position(s) you’re interested in conveys your commitment and sincerity about a potential transfer.

Although obvious, having a thorough understanding of a position’s duties and necessary qualifications cannot be understated. Having realistic expectations will help you determine if the position is right for you or if you have any skill gaps that may need to be addressed before applying. If you’re worried about limitations to your relevant experience, learning as much as you can and being proactive about upskilling will help you make a stronger case for your transfer.

Regularly checking company pages or internal communications for new openings will give you an advantage over external applicants. Some companies encourage internal transitions by opening roles to current employees before advertising opportunities externally.  

Should I inform my manager? Who else can I reach out to? 

Good managers understand (and expect) their employees’ ambitions to evolve. If you have a supportive manager, they’ll likely be your biggest ally throughout this process. They’ve seen your work first-hand and have a solid understanding of your assets as an employee. Approaching your manager directly about potentially switching positions is an opportunity to receive honest feedback and insight into internal transition in your company. They can also direct you to the appropriate people to connect with, such as your HR representative or relevant hiring managers. Alternatively, if you’re unsure about your manager’s reaction to your interest in switching jobs, you can consult your HR representative directly.

Establishing a personal connection with the people directly involved in the hiring efforts can be a significant advantage over external candidates. Hiring managers can provide the most accurate information about a position, ideal candidates, and whether it’s the right fit for you.

The application process: applying, requesting transfer, and interviewing

When you’re certain about wanting to transition within your company, consult HR about the application process for internal candidates. This will vary from company to company. Some organizations have specific steps in place to expedite these transitions. Depending on your company, this may include an application or formal transfer request, in addition to your interview.

When applying or interviewing, it’s important to appropriately present your qualifications and transferable skills. Just because you work at the same company or have connected before doesn’t mean they’re familiar with your professional history. Be sure to update your resume and tailor your experiences to align with the position you’re interested in. Although transitions may feel like a 180-degree turn, it’s important to leverage your intention of building upon previous experience.

Whether you’re looking to pursue new passions, advance your career, find fulfillment, or challenge yourself, transferring positions within your company can be an effective and rewarding way to pivot your career. Navigating these transitory periods can be an ambitious endeavor, but adequate research and a strong support system can streamline the application and transfer process.

For a more in-depth exploration of career transitions, check out our step-by-step guide to changing careers!


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