General Question

HelpMeOmg's avatar

How to transfer departments at work?

Asked by HelpMeOmg (81points) June 6th, 2012

I recently started working for a large company (ISP) doing SysAdmin work. I was looking for more of a network admin position but I took the job. A coworker I knew from another job recently got hired as well but in a slightly different department (technically it’s the same department but he is under a different manager doing different work). Our teams sometimes work together. His job consists of what I want to do, his team frequently works from home, his days are shorter, and we get the same pay as the company sets a standard rate for all system\network engineers.

I would like to transfer to his department but I have only been at the company a week. I am not sure if it would be more respectful to bring it up now so that they don’t waste resources training me or wait about a year.

How would you handle this?

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8 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

Your employee handbook should tell you what you need to know. Or call HR and ask.

I would keep training in the current job. The more knowledge you have that is useful to the company the better your chances of advancing. Ask your friend to keep you in mind if a job opens up in his department.

HelpMeOmg's avatar

@WestRiverrat . I know how to technically do it. I just don’t know how I should handle the situation as I don’t want to screw people over. Plus being the new guy I don’t know if it would look bad.

marinelife's avatar

I would talk to your friend’s manager. Tell him that that position is more of what you were hoping to do and ask if there is any chance of a transfer.

The see what he says.

LittleLemon's avatar

That can be a tricky thing to bring up. Was this position open when you applied? If not, then they may not have any openings anyhow. Since you’re so new, however, I wouldn’t feel too bad about asking your immediate supervisor what they think. You could bring it up subtlely (or sneaky-subtlely) by asking them how they handle lateral transfers in your company. Then it’s easy enough from there to explain your situation. It’s unlikely they’ll get too butt-hurt for just asking. Supervisors are there to help you out, and chances are they want to be as accommodating as possible for the new guy. You’re on the payroll, after all.

HelpMeOmg's avatar

Well it was open because we interviewed at about the same time. He interviewed with my manager who thought he would be a better fit for the other department so had him interview with them. My manager picked me.

Thanks for the advice

Trillian's avatar

The company hired you for that position because that position was open. If you request a transfer at this point you probably won’t get it. They would have to fill your position again. I also didn’t see you mention that there was an opening in that department. Put in your time and apply as the openings appear. Lots of companies “hire from within.” You will have established yourself if you wait 6 or 12 months.

mrrich724's avatar

Go directly to HR and ask what the policy is.

I work in HR, personally, I’d think “this damn pain in the ass just got here and is asking about transferring, ugh.”

Just the truth. But at the end of the day, you don’t get what you don’t ask for, and you’re in it for you, not them.

Maybe what you can do is make your intention clear without asking. Just say, “Hey, I’m really interested in xyz, you know, in case an opportunity should arise in the future.” Rather than, “I just got here, can I transfer departments.”

Anyway, some people will care, some won’t. It depends on the manager’s outlook, the way you present it, and the way the organization’s policy is written.

Going to HR will save you the time and effort.

gambitking's avatar

Actually the beginning is the best time to request it. You haven’t quite carved yourself into the role so much that everyone is depending on you and you’re not too valuable to lose to another department yet. It will require plenty of tact and getting some info from colleagues there, but the timing is right.

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