How to Apply for an Internal Position without Burning Bridges

You’re at the office browsing through your company’s intranet site and found that the job of your dreams is available. “Eureka” you say to yourself as you hear the soft sound of the heavens opening up, because the stars are finally aligned and your moment has arrived. Pause; you just realized that may involve telling your manager.  Although you may like your current position, you know in your heart that you’ll have greater satisfaction moving on and you don’t want any hard feelings. So how do proceed with applying for an internal position without burning bridges? 

Here are points to consider before applying for an internal position.

Know your company policy.

Have you met the tenure requirements? Do you need approval from your manager?

Inform your Boss.

If you have a less than hostile relationship with your direct supervisor, I encourage having a conversation about how you would like to career path with the company prior to pursuing internal positions. This also puts them in a better position to put in a good word for you.

Reach out to your connections.

This could be your direct co-workers who may have insight or those already involved in your department of interest. And if you don’t have any current connections you don’t have to wait until there’s an open position to form them. Be proactive; introduce yourself perhaps in the break room or at a company affair.

Act like an external candidate.

Do not assume because you’re an internal candidate that you’re a shoe in for the position. Prepare like you would for an outside position. Leverage the advantage you have as an internal candidate by freshening up on the necessary knowledge and prepare your best presentation ever. 

Do your best work.

While you currently may not be in your position of interest be mindful that your reputation precedes you. Don’t make it hard for your current coworkers (or supervisor for that matter) to say something positive about you.

Making a move forward in your career doesn't always have to involve burning bridges instead see it as an opportunity to create new ones.

Moving Your Career Forward,

Cathy Francois, MBA, GCDF

Certified Career Coach | Career Exploration Officer of Rezume Forward


P.S. I provide professional and personalized career coaching. Available services include strategic career planning, resume writing, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile optimization, personal brand development, and more. Request a complimentary consultation today.


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