How to Tell Your Boss You Want to Move to a Different Team

Sometimes you find that you have a good job, but you want to change a little within the same company. What’s the best way to go up to your boss and tell him you want to move to a different team or department?

This post was originally published on the Muse website .

At the beginning of my career, I approached my boss with a proposal to move to another department. It seemed that I would really like it, and one of the leaders of this team told me in passing that I was a great fit. However, despite this, it never happened.

Although I was really confused at the time, I had several years to think about what went wrong. And I realized that my approach made me seem selfish, “I am first” a team member who didn’t really know what he wanted – other than what he wanted.

Here are three things to keep in mind so as not to offend your boss the wrong way when you’re ready to do it:

1. Focus on what you are currently working on

Here’s the thing: when I tried to move to another team, I still did everything I could to do my current job well. But I started spending too much time planning my hypothetical move, which greatly influenced the way I approached my responsibilities at work. While I was technically doing whatever was required of me, I didn’t convince my boss too much to give a good recommendation to the leader of the team I wanted to join.

So, once you’ve identified the department you want to move to, come up with a game plan for how to develop your skills and present yourself as a great candidate. But while you are doing this, make sure the projects you are currently working on are your top priority . Of course, it will pay huge dividends when the job you are interested in comes along. More importantly, your current boss will respect your work ethic and are more likely to wish you all the best, no matter your next step.

2. Ask your boss for time to talk outside of regular meetings.

Here’s the biggest mistake I’ve made. One-on-one meetings can be difficult to schedule, so when you have a little time with your boss, it’s important to use it to discuss the tasks you currently have on your plate. I tried to squeeze my inner translation conversation into this meeting – the same one in which I raised 12 other issues. Not only did it seem like a passing thought, but it was happening in a very busy season, so my boss really didn’t have time to discuss it or feel the urgency to make it a priority.

This may seem intimidating depending on your relationship, but be brave and ask your boss to discuss the job that interests you for a while, in addition to regular meetings. By taking this small step, you are making it clear that this is important to you and that you want to work together to make it possible.

3. Keep in mind a specific job

It seems obvious. But when I sat down with my boss at the time, the only thing I prepared for the meeting was, “I’m really interested in joining this other team in a different building.” And the conversation there really came to a standstill for a number of reasons. Of course, my boss thought I was just looking for a way out of his team. And while this was true to some extent, I was really interested in the work of another department. However, there was an even bigger problem – there was no official opening in this team.

It’s exciting when you identify projects that you really want to work on. However, be aware that the conversation will feel much more natural if your company really wants to add someone with a similar skill set to your department. It’s far more compelling to say that you’ve heard that the marketing team is starting to find a candidate with a graphic design background that suits you, rather than “I want to work in marketing.”

No boss ever wants to be sat down and heard that a member of his or her team wants to leave a certain position in favor of an indefinite one that may or may not exist. Seriously, put yourself in your manager’s shoes and think about how this will sound.

Suppose a few months later, an internal announcement appears in your inbox for a team you want to join. Let’s say you followed each of these tips and they worked. Congratulations! Just remember that the timing of your transition is even more important now than when you leave work for another company – after all, you will still have to see these people, perhaps a lot. So work hard until the very end and do your best to harmonize everything for the person who will replace you.

How to Tell Your Boss the News That You Want to Pass It to Another Team | Muse


Leave a Reply