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Help me prepare for two big work meetings about possible new roles
February 7, 2014 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I’m looking to make a move to a different role and location of the Mega Corp I work in. Have two meetings set up with people who could make that happen. Now what? Please help me understand the perspective of the bosses I'm meeting with and what I might say now that I have made these meetings happen! Background and specific question after the jump.

I’ve been doing Current Role (a senior professional job) at Mega Corp for about three years. For a variety of reasons, I am very ready indeed to move on from my current job and location. However, Mega Corp is a great employer and I’d like to stay with them. I’ve contacted the two most senior people in Mega Corp who look after hiring and personnel, said I’ve been doing Current Role for X years, outlined my skills and achievements, and asked if they meet with me to explore “possible directions in Mega Corp”. They’ve responded positively and I’m meeting with them each separately next week. What on earth do I say from here? (They each know I'm meeting with the other.)

Please take it as a given that I will not say anything negative about my current role, manager or co-workers. This is an absolute. Current Department sadly has a poor reputation internally (I have been told by people close to Senior Management that I do not share this poor reputation) but I am very conscious that I must present myself as being 1000 per cent professional. Which I am, so no problem there.

I’ve crafted some notes about solid skills and strong institutional knowledge developed in dealing with various challenges that have arisen during my time in Current Role. I’ve made notes about some of the bigger projects I’ve managed and issues I’ve successfully resolved so I can provide examples of instances when I’ve demonstrated various skills.

But what exactly do I say about ‘directions’? I honestly don’t know what directions there might be for me. I’ve kept my eye on Mega Corp’s internal job listings but can only see what is basically my current job working for a different manager. I’m really unsure about what to say if asked where I see myself in the organisation. I don’t know! Mega Corp is undergoing some earthquake-level changes around its mission and structure. I would like the opportunity to develop more skills in strategy/planning, and eventually move into an entry level leadership role. I feel a strong affinity with some of Mega Corp’s goals and would really like to stick around to see them achieved. (This is actually true – they do some very interesting work and I can be specific about which goals I feel this affinity for and explain why.) It is not possible to realise these goals in Current Department. Would it be OK to say that? Could I maybe also say that I am interested in exposure to different parts of the business?

Lastly, I’ve been brainstorming, but am having trouble placing myself in the shoes of the people I’m meeting with and working out what they would want from me. If you have been in this position ie you are A Very Big Boss (or any kind of boss!), contacted by someone looking to make a move internally, and you have met with them, what did you want? What do you wish they had given you? What do you absolutely do not want to hear/see?

TLDR – I’ve got what I can offer the organisation covered, but what do I say about what I want from Mega Corp or where I see myself? If you were the Big Boss meeting me, what would you want from me?

Anon to protect Current Role. Email to helpbigmeetingargh@gmail.com.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (2 answers total)
 
It sounds like you've already got a good conversation starter.

Mega Corp is undergoing some earthquake-level changes around its mission and structure. I would like the opportunity to develop more skills in strategy/planning, and eventually move into an entry level leadership role. I feel a strong affinity with some of Mega Corp’s goals and would really like to stick around to see them achieved. (This is actually true – they do some very interesting work and I can be specific about which goals I feel this affinity for and explain why.) It is not possible to realise these goals in Current Department.

This is not bad-mouthing your current department. This is showing that you pay attention to the big picture and you can recognize opportunities.

It sounds like you've essentially set up informational interviews. These are common, especially among people in "leadership" roles rather than just management. It's essentially networking, but not the common sleazy "hand out your business card to everyone with a pulse" type.

I think they want to get to know you - it sounds like you already have a good reputation internally, so they will probably just be looking to see how you are in person - professional, charismatic, etc. Smart leaders develop talent from within and over time, so they want to meet motivated people like you, just as much as you want to meet with them.

One word of caution - don't expect something to come out of these meetings overnight. If MegaCorp is indeed on the mega scale, they have undoubtedly met with other bright aspiring professionals like yourself. They will invite you to keep in touch, which you should do - but they may not recommend a new position or invite you to apply for one, until they feel it's a good fit.
posted by trivia genius at 11:07 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Don't think in terms of specific job titles, think in terms of how your skills and experience will translate to other positions and make these managers do that work for you.

"I have skill X, Y and Z, I have experience with Projects Q and W, if you were me, within the new structure, where do you think the most interesting opportunities would be for me?"

I had a conversation very close to this one about a semester or so before I graduated with my MBA. The company suggested that I get it and paid for the whole thing. "So I've been in customer service for two years, and I'm finishing up this degree you wanted me to get, what do I do now?"

They gave me a path and I followed it. It worked out great for me there. I was employed in my new job within a month. I never would have applied for the position they recommended but it turned out to be a great fit!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:24 PM on February 7


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