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Dos and Don’ts of Making a Career Change Within Your Company

Learn the Dos & Don'ts of making an internal career change to effectively make that career change.

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Learn the Dos & Don'ts of making an internal career change to effectively make that career change.


Making a career change within your company can be a daunting prospect. How will you know if the move is right for you? What should you expect from a new role? What are the dos and don’ts of making a career change within the same company?

These are all valid questions that need to be addressed before making such an important decision. It is crucial to take time to consider all aspects of the move, including the implications for your personal and professional life.

In this article, we’ve explored what to consider if you're looking to make a career change within your current company.


1. Assess your situation

Making a career change within your company is a great opportunity to develop professionally, but it also comes with some risks and rewards. Before you dive into making a change, it's important to assess your situation thoroughly. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you make the right decision:


  • Talk to people about their experience with career changes in the company.

  • Speak with someone in human resources about the policies surrounding these transitions (such as pay, benefits, etc.).

  • Find out how much on-the-job training or mentorship is available for the role you are considering.

  • Consider how this change will impact your future goals and aspirations.


  • Don't rush into a career change without knowing what it entails and how it could impact your current or future roles within the organization.

  • Don't make a career change unless there is true potential for growth and development in the new role.

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions or look for more information before making any final decisions.


Read also: Is it Time for a Career Change? Run Through This Checklist to Know if You are Ready


2. Research options internally

Making a career change within your company is a great way to stay connected to your existing working environment, but it also requires careful research and planning. 

Find out what options are available to you internally in terms of roles, who’s hiring, and how to apply for those roles. Make sure you check for job openings throughout all levels of the company—sometimes, there may be opportunities that are not advertised externally. Check the company website, talk to colleagues in other departments, or join internal networks and events that can connect you with leadership or decision-makers who may have insights or advice on potential roles.

On the other hand, don't jump into a new role right away without considering the consequences. Think about whether this new role is compatible with your lifestyle as well as your skills—if it's a big shift in terms of commitment or hours away from the office, or doesn't fit within your comfort zone in terms of responsibilities or technology experience, it may not be worth making the switch right now.


3. Network within the company

Networking is essential to any successful career change, and within your own company, it's no different. While making connections within your own organization can seem intimidating, it's important to remember that everyone around you is likely facing the same challenges as you. This is how: 


  • Use company resources

Your company may have resources in place for reaching out to other departments or connecting with colleagues. Make use of these tools if they are available. If not, consider setting up virtual coffees or informational interviews with colleagues in the department you are interested in transitioning into. Reaching out to the hiring manager of the position you're interested in is also a great way to start building relationships.


  • Leverage existing networks

If you've worked with any colleagues from other areas of your organization before, reach out for help and advice on how best to navigate the career change process. You never know - they could be able to put you in touch with the right people or provide an extra recommendation. Any connections inside or outside of your company that may have insight into how best to make a successful transition should be taken advantage of.


Read also: Professional Networking: Turning Your Contacts into Meaningful Professional Relationships


4. Talk to your manager

Talking to your supervisor enables you to negotiate and understand the specific details that are involved in making the switch. It's important to remember that this is a two-way conversation - be sure to have prepared a list of questions and talking points to cover during the discussion. It's also important that you focus on how this career change will benefit not just yourself but your employer too.

Having a direct dialogue with your manager about possibilities for growth within the company is invaluable; it shows employers that you are an asset and willing to take on new challenges. To maximize success it's common practice to:


  • Identify what skills you can bring to a new role

  • Highlight past successes that support the role change

  • Discuss your learning abilities, motivation and dedication

  • Identify any financial considerations related to changing roles, such as job title and salary increase

  • Determine what gaps in training or experience need filling before making the career transition.


5. Prepare a proposal

You should prepare a formal proposal outlining your career aspirations and the specific ways you believe your current experience makes you qualified for the new role. Start by researching the job and its requirements to determine how best to position yourself as a strong candidate.

Think of your proposal as a business-plan-style document, and use data to back up your claims where applicable. Here are some elements that should be included:


  • A summary of what makes you a good fit for the new role

  • Quantifiable data demonstrating your skills, such as past performance metrics or customer feedback

  • Results from any relevant training or certifications

  • A timeline for when you would be ready to transition into the role

  • Ways in which you could contribute to the team immediately upon entering the new role

Be prepared to discuss any potential challenges along the way and how you plan to address them. You might also want to include suggestions for budgeting considerations or personnel changes that could facilitate a successful transition. By coming prepared with a detailed proposal—and the enthusiasm needed to drive it forward—you can show decision-makers that you’re serious about taking on this challenge.


6. Set realistic expectations

When making a career change, it's important to be realistic about what you can achieve within your current company. You may have a clear vision of what you want, but that doesn't mean that it's achievable within the confines of your current organization.

It's helpful to have accurate expectations in order to manage any potential disappointment. Here are some dos and don'ts when setting realistic expectations for yourself:


  • Consider what skills, experience and qualifications you would need to transition into the role you want.

  • Talk to colleagues who have made similar career moves to get a better understanding of the process.

  • Research opportunities available at your company and look for feedback from employees who have made similar transitions.

  • Speak with your supervisor and explain why a career change would benefit both you and the company.


  • Don't expect immediate results from your career change – it takes time for employers to recognize the value of new qualifications or experience, so be prepared for the long haul and stay motivated throughout the process.

  • Don't underestimate the importance of networking – having contacts in different areas can open up many doors when making a career move, so don't ignore this crucial step.



Making a career change within your company is a great way to advance your career and diversify your skillset. Doing your research, exploring all options, staying professional, and having a plan are essential when it comes to making a successful internal career change. 

From discussing potential roles with your managers to evaluating the potential return on investment, following the right steps can help ensure your transition to a new role is smooth and successful. In the end, it’s important to assess any career change to ensure it aligns with your goals and objectives and adds value to your current and future roles.

Written by

Phil Ibsen

Phill Ibsen is a creative writer, scriptwriter and a storyteller who believes in telling the story as it is and not as it should be. He is the founder of Master of Descriptions, a production company which aims in showcasing authentic stories. He’s also an affiliate writer at the Writers Guild.

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