Before you apply for a job in another department, talk to your colleagues and find out what they know about career opportunities there.
By: Natasha Morgan
Make a list of the type of jobs that you think you would like to do. For example, if you are interested in writing, consider writing employee communications pieces, direct mailings to customers or advertising slogans. Remember that many departments require writers and it is not always as obvious as the examples above. There are training manuals, procedures bulletins and simple office correspondence that require skills that you can easily develop if you’re interested in learning.
Scrutinize your list carefully and realistically imagine yourself doing the jobs that you have listed. Take the glamour out and think about the actual tasks that you would be required to do. For example, if you are considering the job of an Events Coordinator, travelling to check out sites for holding the events, negotiating contracts and planning the themes can sound very exciting. But the other part of this job is the pressure of getting everything done in time, checking and re-checking all details which usually change even at the last minute and keeping all participants fully aware of all the plans. When you see the incumbent in this position, she often seems relaxed and smiling but it’s part of the job to appear this way. Most of the time her mind is racing over last minute details.
Learn more about the jobs that you have selected. Talk to your colleagues and find out what they know about them. Work mates often have friend working in different departments and some of them may be in the areas that you are targeting. Prepare yourself with a list of questions and try to arrange for informal coffee sessions with these people. Take this golden opportunity to discuss all your issues and concerns. Most people are happy to talk about themselves.
Upgrade your skills in areas where you are lacking. From all that you have learned thus far, you may find that you simply are not qualified for some of the jobs that interest you. Night school and correspondence courses are readily available in most parts of the country. These are sometimes government sponsored programs which means that there is no cost to you, or check with your Personnel Department as many companies will pay all, or part of tuition fees at accredited colleges and universities.
Try Job Shadowing with someone doing the jobs. Approach your manager or personnel department and ask about career planning. Tell them that you are interested in developing your career with the company and ask them for suggestions. One idea that has been quite successful is to spend time working along side the person already in the job. It can be as little as an hour a day for a few days or a full day, depending on how much time the managers are willing to spare for this type of activity. This has to be tactfully handled, as you don’t want to appear as though you are trying to take over the job. The best explanation is to say that you are looking at many different options and not specifically at this position.
Volunteer for Project Work in your areas of interest. Tell your manager that you are interested being involved with projects on your own time. Before or after your regular hours of work, you can participate in all sorts of activities. People rarely turn down an extra pair of hands when it’s offered voluntarily.
Join Charitable Committees at your work place. Most companies involve employees in fund raising activities. Whether you join a group for UNICEF, United Appeal or Starlight Foundation you will meet fellow employees from many different departments. You can even start up your own project such as a volleyball or softball tournament where you sell admission tickets. Challenge your local radio station to heighten awareness and meet interesting people outside your own organization. You will benefit from the experience while helping those less fortunate.
Make a Good Impression wherever you go. As you find yourself meeting new people at all levels, keep an open mind. Be prepared to listen and learn. Don’t act as if you know everything. Remember that their time is valuable and if they are prepared to share their knowledge, all the better. Try to remain cheerful even if things begin to get complicated and you don’t understand everything that is going on. When it comes to applying for a job in one of these departments people will remember your behaviour for a long time. Here is your chance to shine!
Â© 2010 Not Just The Kitchen
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