Applying late for an internal job posting?
May 5, 2009 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Is there a tactful, appropriate way to apply for an internal job posting after the submission window has expired? (And should I do so?)

My company is launching a new office in a city that is rather desirable for me. Let's call it Job X. Job X is very similar to what I'm doing right now in terms of duties and level of responsibility, only the material it handles would be different and present new challenges.

When it was announced, I met with my supervisor here who said he would support me in pursuing Job X if that was what I decided to do. He then told me that given my time in my present position, he considers me to have paid my dues and I'm on a short list for a different type of position in the company -- let's call it Job Y -- one that would afford me an opportunity to try my hand at having increased responsibility and profile. Job Y would fill a gaping hole in my experience, and prepare me to be more successful in my field long-term. However, given the economic climate, it is unsure when such a position would come open. Perhaps within a year. If I were to jump to the other office for Job X, my responsibilities would be very similar to what I do now, and I'd likely have to spend a couple or a few years there building up credibility with that team before they would trust me to make a leap to a Job Y.

I decided not to apply, and the window for submission closed. These days I'm wondering whether I made the right decision, and whether there would be a good way to explore the possibility of applying late. Strategies that occur to me include:

* Going back to my boss and keeping everything on the up-and-up. Asking him whether he could find out if they're still looking for good people to hire for Job X. (A data point: A similar new office was opened last year, they had difficulty filling all the spots. They were flooded with applications, but not all were good and in any case there's pressure to hire internally only.)

* Send a discreet email query to the person who has been announced as the leader of the new team. Simply introducing myself and asking whether he's still looking for people.

* Or maybe I've simply missed the boat on this, and trying to jump on board late would be bad form.

A secondary question is, Should I pursue this? I'm torn as before over whether the better career choice is to act on the idea that now is the right time to branch out and push for Job Y. At the same time, I'm kind of restless and ready for a move. As a member of the new Job X team, I wouldn't get any new skills, but I would learn a lot about a different region of the company's operations. (I understand that this part is harder for you to answer since I've left out details on my industry and location for anonymity's sake.)

More, perhaps relevant details:
* The Job X office is closer to family and friends whom I often miss, though still a ways away. However, I also often think I have another adventure in me, and Job Y would likely be in another "exotic" location. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in my current place, but it's not an easy city and increasingly I want to leave. Job X is in a city where I've always wanted to live. Job Y would likely be in a place similar to where I am now, with similar annoyances.
* Job type Y would involve increased hours, exposure and profile. Depending on a variety of factors, could be 50-60 hours a week plus on call always for emergencies. I'm in my mid-30s (unattached) and feel like in five years, it may be tougher to take on that kind of work load.
* I'd like to stay with the company for now, and looking elsewhere is not even particularly feasible given the current realities of this sector.

Thanks for any ideas or insight.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (3 answers total)
It is appropriate for you to approach your boss and candidly discuss this with him--you seen to have a good relationship. However, if the firm is of a substantial size ( which it sounds as if it is) and there is an HR department it is not appropriate to accept an applications after the deadline has passed unless they have rejected all of the timely applicants and indicated they are once again accepting applicants. You might review HR's policies on applications.
I realize that companies do accept late applications but it is a bit tacky without reposting the position. Just as your thoughts changed the thoughts or life circumstances of other employees may well have changed. A company can handle this by reposting the position for a reasonable period and redo the process. This should not delay them more than 5 work days
I will leave it to others to comment on the other issues.
posted by rmhsinc at 12:58 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

I work for The Man and I have to say that to my mind, the notion of "tacky" does not really seem relevant here. It's business. If you're right for the job and it isn't taken, well, why the hell not go for it? Sure, you may be last in line after the other internal candidates (assuming, as you never can, that anyone else has applied), but it could put you in line before external, and to that degree, you're doing HR and the company a favor. Talk to manager, talk to HR. If they're as lightning fast as most bureaucracies, you're probably well in time.

THe other aspects of the question- sorry, you're on your own. Good luck
posted by IndigoJones at 5:26 PM on May 5, 2009

This is one of those Price Is Right Door #2 situations that is partly a game of chance and partly a philosophical question:

Would you give up a [Y%] chance of getting something that's worth [Y-Value] to you to take something worth less, only [X-Value]?

It sounds to me like you want to hold out for Y but you're starting to lose hope and/or get so antsy that you're thinking you should settle for X.
posted by salvia at 1:15 AM on May 6, 2009

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