Workplace Help! Questions about internal mobility


Aug 20, 2006
San Francisco
Hi fellow TPF'ers!
Would love to hear your thoughts and advice on my question regarding internal mobility. I always value your thoughts on the various issues that get posted out here.

I currently work in a entry-level merchandise planning role for a rather large company and have been here for 1 year. Although, I am fairly new to merchandise planning, I find it challenging and have learned a ton. But I feel like it's just not for me and would love to go back to doing something more creative. I initially took on the merchandise planning role to learn about the business/finance side of this industry and develop stronger financial acumen. Also the manager who hired me at the time was a joy to work with. However 2 months into my new role - the team gets a new manager who is just absolutely terrible to work with and doesnt have any managerial experience.

So just recently, I was exploring our internal job database and came across a position in product development which totally peaked my interest and would LOVE to apply for since I have an educational background in product development as well as previous work experience and I actually meet the minimum qualifications. However, before I apply - i would need my manager to fill out a reference form and also give me a verbal agreement that she supports my decision.

However, I'm a little nervous about having this conversation with my manager since I feel like we dont have the "best" relationship. I feel like I am walking on eggshells here. I mean how would I even start that conversation? I don't want to be caught in a catch-22 situation where she thinks I am not suited for this new role and writes me a unfavorable recommendation, so that I wouldn't even have a chance and now she knows that I'm not all that interested in my job.

What would you do in my place and how would you bring this up?

Thanks for taking the time to read this far - i know it's a long post. :smile:
Mar 10, 2007
Well, unless you want to stay in the job you have forever and ever, eventually you will need to take a risk. Staying a year in one job is perfectly fine for requesting an internal transfer.

Talk to someone in the destination department and let them know you are interested. Sometimes if the current boss gives an applicant a hard time they ignore it if they like the internal candidate. So have an informational meeting with some of the new group's folks.

If your relationship with your boss is strained, she may very well be happy to have you move out of her group.

I'd make an appointment to see your current boss RIGHT AFTER meeting with the new group (so gossip doesn't get around) and just be all happy and upbeat -- "oh, hey, this came up and I think it would fit with my experience in xyz. Your support would mean a lot to me. Here's the form."