How to Tell Your Boss About Internal Interview
Breaking the news to leave your job position to your boss is a hard step to take. Most times employees leave for an entirely different company, but sometimes a role might come up in a different department in the same company, and the employee might want to swap. I cannot say for sure which news will be accepted better by your boss. The reaction you will get will be solely dependent on your manager’s personality. While some supervisors will be supportive and encouraging, others might take it personally and try to hinder your progress.
Some supervisors dismiss employees who serve at will, which encompasses most of the workforce. Taking your supervisor’s personality into consideration before breaking the news is important. As an employee who has worked with a manager for some time, you can tell how he handles situations. A lot depends on your relationship with your boss. An employee who has a close relationship with his boss can easily communicate such news to him and even seeks advice. On the other hand, an employee whose relationship with his boss is toxic will have a hard time communicating his plan to his manager. Divulging news like this to your manager requires careful thought and planning. While you are not under any ethical or legal obligation to tell your manager of your plans to apply for any role, doing so is a professional courtesy your boss will appreciate. If the employee is worried about job security, it is advisable to keep the information confidential until he is sure of the job offer. When you have decided, practice what to say before scheduling a meeting to discuss an internal interview.
Necessary Steps To Take Before Informing Your Manager Of Your Intentions
1 Check your company’s policy
Every company has a policy about how they handle employees who want to transfer to a different department. Some companies expect the employee to have spent at least 6 months in their current position before going to a new department. Others might need the employee to tell the manager or supervisor before changing departments. An employee’s first step is to check the company’s policy, to determine the rules and procedures to follow. Further, make inquiries from other employees who have gone through this process before. Look out for the procedure they took and how it turned out for them.
2) Are conversations with the human resources officer confidential?
Another aspect an employee should check is the confidentiality agreement between staff and the human resources department. Are conversations between human resources and employees kept confidential? Is the human resource department mandated to inform the manager of such updates? This is an important part to consider while deciding whether to notify the manager of your intention. If no rule or regulation is stopping the human resources officer from divulging such information to your manager, then you should consider informing your manager of your intention before going forward. Because if you do not, the news will still get to him. It will be better to he hears it from you than from another person.
3) Assess the risks
Before deciding whether to tell your boss of your intentions, you must weigh the pros and cons associated with the outcome. Take a cue from his reaction to rumors of the official announcement of an employee leaving to another section of the company or joining a new company. Supportive managers might understand your wish to grow and advance in your career, while others might not. You also have to consider the possibility that your manager might dismiss you, and you might end up not getting a new role. Some managers might even go to the length of being a stumbling block for you to transit successfully. You have to study the new department to decide if it’s the right move to make. If things do not go well, there might be no room for you to return to your previous role. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you run a background check to decide if the department is better than the one you want to leave. Also, check if the field is right for you and the possibility to transit successfully.
4) Be ready to face tribulations
When you have decided to inform your boss, you should also be ready to face the consequences that might be associated with it. Employees are often treated differently if their managers know that they are short-termed. Some managers will exclude employees from training opportunities, assign a lesser tasks to them, assign unrealistic goals to them and reprimand them for every little mistake.
Now that you have learned the necessary things to consider before making your choice, it’s time you learned the steps to communicate your intention to your manager.
- Schedule a meeting
The idea of leaving to a different department might sound like positive news for you, but your manager might not see it the same way. Perfect timing matters a lot when you are trying to communicate news of this magnitude to your manager. You do not want to meet him after an assignment given to you has gone wrong. He would end up thinking you did not complete the assignment on purpose because you intended on leave. Another bad time to fix this meeting is when your manager is stressed, whether with work or personal issues. You can monitor his actions for a few days before deciding on the perfect moment to communicate your intention.
- Share reasons for leaving
After you have informed your manager of your intention to apply for a role in another department, he will want to know why. So before going in for a meeting with your manager, make sure you have listed solid and rational reasons to make such a bold move. It is easier to share your reasons if they are not negatively related to your boss. For instance, it might be that the role fits more to your skill set and field of study, or you need a change in career direction. It can also be for relocation purposes, probably the branch the new job is in is closer to your new home. Another reason could be a better work-life balance, probably you need the spare time to handle personal matters like the school run, take care of elderly parents or even for health purposes. Even if you have issues with your manager or the way your current department is operated, it is still better to sound positive. Think of other positive reasons for leaving your current role.
- Dissipate concerns
Your manager might be supportive of your decision to leave but might still have concerns about what your departure might cause to the department. This is mostly the case when you are exceptional at your job, and you are the pillar of your department. The concern might also be because of the time frame you are leaving. It might be a critical time for the department. Maybe two or more projects are going on and your absence will greatly affect the project’s success. He might be worried that you might take other employees with you. Therefore, while informing him about your intentions to leave for another role, also dissipate any form of concerns he might have. For instance, you can assure him that you will be present to finish the current project and that you are capable of training your replacement if need be. Assure him you are willing to do anything that will aid the transition.
- Express your gratitude
Express appreciation to your boss for the time he has invested in training and developing you to the stage you are. Explain that you are grateful for all he has done for you, but the step you are taking is necessary to push your career to higher heights. You can also add that you will need his advice from time to time.
- Do not burn bridges
The importance of keeping a good relationship cannot be overemphasized. The old saying “you should not bite the hands that fed you” is not just for verbal practice. You are indeed leaving the department for a different one, but you do not know the circumstances in the future that will bring you back to your present department. Therefore, it is necessary to act in a reserved manner while speaking with your boss, even if he does not support your decision outrightly. Try to make him understand your reasons. Even if he does not support you after that, at least you know you did your best.
- Make alternative plans
If everything does not go down well with your boss, it is advisable you also look out for other openings outside the company. Aside from the tribulation, you might face after informing your manager; he might block your path to getting the job and find a way to lay you off. At last, you will be at the losing end. If you start sensing something like this, quickly start searching for external job roles, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.