How do i change careers/positions within my company?
April 24, 2007 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Jobfilter: Im currently a network admin at my company. I have been with them a little over 1 1/2 years. Heres my dilema. I love the company i work for, they treat everyone great, there relatively small and everyone is sorta treated like family but the problem is i am completely burnt out at my position. I have been in the IT World for a little over 8 years and im soo sick of it and want to desperatley change careers but stay with the company. What is the best way to go about telling my boss this? I want him to know im not looking for another job or quitting but just want to change to a diffrent career/position within the company.
posted by flipmiester99 to Work & Money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A small company isn't going to be able to create a position to your specifications. But maybe you can wait for something to open up (whether it has a title currently or not--maybe you can spot a need) and then apply for it, using the explanation you just gave us.
posted by DU at 11:43 AM on April 24, 2007

I am in a similar boat to you, but perhaps a slightly larger company. We have around 150 employees where I work, and I am officially the Network Administrator, and only IT folk. I expressed to the CFO over lunch that I enjoyed the work, the people, the pay is reasonable enough for the area, but I was feeling almost like my job consisted of being the janitor of the computers. Running around fixing peoples mice and network jacks definately isn't the most glorious of jobs.

The chat went real well, and I honestly had nothing in mind, other than to express a bit of the same you are feeling -- I am getting older, and doing mindless work really isn't keeping me entertained. Though this conversation, the CFO expressed how much he enjoyed my work, and wanted me to stay at the company, but completely understood if things changed in my life. We chatted some more, and I have started to move more to the business side of the world, and slowly away from the janitor position. We are looking to possibly hire out my position, and I would assume more of an IT Director role, and work more on a strategic planning role, rather than the Netadmin role.

You may want to express your concerns with your supervisor and just see where things go. I had no intents, and by no means was I saying that I was leaving.. Just saying that I felt I wanted/needed to grow.

Your situation may be different, so feel around accordingly. Maybe drop a few references to things you WOULD like to do.. and see how the boss reacts.. "Wow.. xyz sounds like its fun" ..

Good luck in your venture, and I absolutely encourage you to try moving if you feel stuck. That sort of discouragement impacts your work, and it will directly effect your work level eventually, as well as your own wellbeing.
posted by SirStan at 11:44 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

Also talk to your HR department before you just apply for other work... At our company your boss gets alerted if you request to be reviewed for another position. Not something you want to blindside your boss with.
posted by SirStan at 11:45 AM on April 24, 2007

Check out my last question, which was pretty similar. People encouraged me to focus on the positive and on what's in it for the company. Emphasize your desire for the new job (not your distaste for the old), your dedication to the company (to the point that you want to be even more involved in their mission itself rather than just IT support), and on why you'd be good at that new position (why it'd save them time & money to have you there, since you already are so familiar with XYZ). Good luck!
posted by ruff at 11:55 AM on April 24, 2007

My husband recently went through this.

Make a list of what you do like about your job, what you don't like, and what you think you would like to be doing instead. Then figure out if there is a way you can "pitch it" to the company -- write down a plan, show the company what you would like to do and how letting you do that would be beneficial to them. One option is to expand what you're doing now; another is to substitue what you don't like with new responsiblities; another is to do a new job altogether.

Remember that this company likes you, and that companies would often rather keep you on board than recruit someone new, especially if their experience with you is a positive one. And, if they refuse to work with you to get you a position you like, then if you do decide to look elsewhere, you can feel better knowing you tried to stay.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:30 PM on April 24, 2007

Try the What Color is Your Parachute? book for a helpful guide as to what kinds of activities will stimulate you. It will really help your boss if you have some sort of idea of the things that you want to be doing. It shows that you are interested in keeping your job and are serious about making some changes, and actually put some thought into how he can help you.

You may also find that taking some actions towards finding meaningful work that will suit you better will make your current job more bearable in the meantime. You will see the parts you like about it in a new light, and the icky parts further reinforce the reasons for making change.

If you see an opportunity, seize it! You never know where it will lead.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:45 PM on April 24, 2007

As an opening, just be honest with your boss about the situation, and say what you said here.

Even in a small company, they'll try to work with you. It's very hard to find good employees, and hiring costs a lot of money, so there's a very real financial motivation for them to make you happy.

Don't treat the problem as something to be resolved in one or two conversations, either. Treat it exactly like any other long-term project, with an identified purpose, objectives and metrics for success.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 2:15 PM on April 24, 2007

Been there, still trying to sort my brain out. I was totally honest with my Boss and requested a reduction in hours to try get a balance and have a weekday to plan what I wanted to be doing.

He was willing to accomodate and I'm getting that balance now. Obviously you need to factor in a 20% reduction in salary but for me this was much preferable to losing my mind and a possible 100% reduction in salary.
posted by twistedonion at 3:45 PM on April 24, 2007

Like Tacos said, tell him what you told us. Be specific, give examples of what you just can't stand doing any more. More importantly, give him suggestions for a solution -- the worst thing you can do is complain without offering options to solve the problem.

If the place really is so close-knit that they wouldn't want to lose you, they'll figure something out. Just make it clear that it doesn't need to be today or tomorrow, but that you'd like to work together to think of some way to transition out of what you're doing into something new.

If you trust the people involved, honesty is always the best policy, if only for the satisfaction if and when things go sideways what you did the brave and right thing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:17 PM on April 24, 2007

This exact thing happened to me and luckily I had a great relationship with our CEO. I was the 10th hire of a start up and by the time we were acquired by a huge multinational I had gotten to the point were I was no longer satisfied with my role. I just went into his office and talked with him about it and he asked me what I wanted to do. I said I'd like to do something to continue to use my tech background but deal more with the business side of things. I knew one of our product managers was leaving so I made my pitch for his job. My CEO told me OK, on Monday of next week you'll start as the new PM. I had to keep supporting IT until we hired my replacement (About 4 months), but I moved into the PM role immediately. I put in many long hours doing both jobs but now I've been a PM about a year and a half and my company is paying for my MBA. If you are a true asset they will work with you, just don't be afraid to express your interest. One of my assistants moved from doing IT support into a Java developer position because everyone valued his ability to learn new things quickly. It also depends on your individual skill set, education, experience, and initiative. Be prepared to leave if things don't work out, but at least take your shot.
posted by white_devil at 8:51 PM on April 24, 2007

« Older Any tools to manage status for multiple messaging...   |   How to remove broken power adapter stem from... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.