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clodhoppers18's avatar

How to ask your boss about a position that is open above you?

Asked by clodhoppers18 (4 points ) November 14th, 2008

I currently work as a Help Desk technician, and there is a position that is open as a System Administrator in my company. The job requirements say 2 years work experience or equivalent degree. I have the work experience, however I still feel like I do not have quite the knowledge needed because I have no formal classes, nor a degree. I know some of what the System Administrators do, but I am still a little hesitant because some of the phone and networking things I do not know about. I have a good working/learning relationship with the 3 admins that we currently have, and usually have to discuss things related to work with all of them at some point almost everyday. I would like to apply for the position, which is still under my same boss, however my boss has not formally offered me the position. However she did mention on a recent busines trip that I could still do online classes and be a System Administrator (due to being on call 24/7 every 4th week). I have a feeling that she would likely hire me due to some of the discussions we have had, and the scope of most of my work has changed from Help Desk and support related to IT project and advanced troubleshooting. She may have been hesitant to offer me the formal position because I do throughly enjoy what I am doing, and I am still in school. The position has been open for nearly 2 months and my boss hasn’t done any interviews, and I havent seen a stack of applications piled up on her desk (not that Im looking through her stuff, but she usually lets things like that stack up and then go through them all at once)

I am wondering of the best way to inquire about the possibility of applying for the position, or if I should just go ahead and send in my application. If so, do I need to include a resume, etc.? I am unfamiliar with internal applications, and am definitely wanting to learn, even if it is recommended that I not apply for it.

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8 Answers

basp's avatar

If she has mentioned the possibility already, I would have an open and honest talk with her. Let her know what you havecsaid here, you have the interest and desire but unsure of the skills and how to make sure your skills can meet expectations.

battlemarz's avatar

If you have a good working relationship with the other 3 sysadmins and a general knowledge of the job requirements I think it would make a lot of sense for you to pursue the opening. Even if you don’t know everything right off the bat, you will be able to pick up a lot of it through working with the other sysadmins. I would go for the job and definitely go for the classes.

If you have a good working relationship with your boss, possibly ask him/her to lunch and discuss the job opening there and express your interest.

clodhoppers18's avatar

I sent her an email asking her what I could improve on so that I may feel comfortable applying for the position. This leaves her an open window to do one of a couple of things. She can either say that I can learn what I need to in that position, in that case I would apply. She could also list some things I need to work on, in which I would work on those so that next time I have the opportunity to apply for it, I can. It is a win-win situation. Either I get a promotion, or I find out what I need to do so. My boss knows me and my work ethic, as I have been working with her for a year now, and we are very personable with each other, so I don’t feel that I would receive any negative feedback in regards to this.

basp's avatar

Hope it all works out for you!

clodhoppers18's avatar

She was slightly concerned about me taking 2 classes online and working on call, however I don’t think that it would be too much of an issue. I am asking my HR department as we speak, about an internal application :-) My boss didn’t say that I would or would not be hired, but she did say that I would certainly be considered. The interesting thing is I would be in front of a panel of the current system administrators, which may help my case, since I am on good terms with them.

mea05key's avatar

Yeah i hope you get the job.

just be direct. and say like what u said in your post. THe boss would consider anyone that he feels able to handle the job so talk to him, give him a good impression that you are capable by babbling on ur capabilities and regarding the small bits that you are unsure how to do, just say you are willing to learn ( Nobody is born to know ). Btw, you are already in advantage. I am sure you are a good worker and he knows it too. So just open your mouth to speak to him .

wildflower's avatar

My initial answer was going to be:
Asking about the position shows interest and commitment to development – and should be seen as positive by your/the hiring manager.
However, be aware that the second you show an interest in the job, the hiring manager starts to think of you as a candidate. As a candidate, you do not want to come across as not having faith in your ability to do the job – if you don’t think you can, why should he/she? See it as a fact-finding mission; ask what they’re looking for in a candidate, what they expect from people in the job, biggest challenges and opportunities, etc.

But, reading the answers above, that may not be applicable any more, but my advice on how to approach a potential interview is much the same: you have to sell yourself as a suitable candidate – do not be too eager to draw attention to your own doubts as you’ll just be planting the same doubts in the hiring managers mind.
Be confident and prepared and remember: you want this job. you know you’re the right choice for this job – now you just need to convince the boss of this…

Good Luck!

amurican's avatar

Slip some good shrooms into his lunch salad.

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