Networking / Informal Interviewing internally

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Networking / Informal Interviewing internally

Postby Ralf K. » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:23 am

Dear forum,

I am now since 2 years in my role and had to suffer from a bigger re-organisation after 1 year. Unfortunately this re-organisation was not in my favor. So the job I initially came for became a bit mundane, but I like the company and the domain alot. I just would like to be closer to marketing and less internally focussed.

How can I approach people who know me, but at the same time might not know that I would like to join their team. I was thinking of these approaches:

a) Send an email beforehand and explain that I try to understand the new organisation better and like a. Try to get a coffee break
b) Send invite and ask for 30 minutes meeting to get to know the team better ask about the future plans to expand
c) Go for lunch with them first to build a relationship
d) Wait for openings in the intranet and apply then

How direct can I be that I want to change my job? I have to make sure I don't generate a negative atmosphere in my current team, on the other hand the budget for next year in my team was seriously cut down. So the future of my current team might be a bit bleak anyway.

Thank you very much
Ralf K.
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:32 am

Re: Networking / Informal Interviewing internally

Postby PG » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:58 am

Moving within the Company is very common and a lot of companies actively encourages this type of moves. The Company I work for for example has a clearly stated goal that our staff turnover should be below 5% for the family of companies that shares the same owner. To make this happen we need people to move between positions and potentially also between companies owned by the same Corporation. Very few people today will stay 20+ years in the same position.

As for your specific suggestions the approach needs to be adjusted to the Company that you are working and I will comment for each of them.

a) This is similar to all other networking efforts. It is a good approach and follows the same recommendations. Talk about what they do, how they do it and once a relationship is established what they are looking for when they hire new staff. Anything except for directly asking for a job usually works.

b) This is sort of the same as a. Most managers I know dont really have a lot of coffe breaks that they spend by themselves so you might need to Schedule that break with them.

c) again similar to a and b. Even if they dont have time for coffe they will usually eat lunch. This can either be scheduled or just by you walking up to them in the Company lunch restaurant and asking if you can sit down with them.

d) Probably the least efficient way of doing it but can be a great continuation of the above. Note that in some companies this will be clearly visible to everyone. As an example in the Company I work for the number of internal applications a person has submitted is visible in our staffing system for anyone to see including the current manager.
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Re: Networking / Informal Interviewing internally

Postby D.X. » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:46 am

Hi Ralf,

I've been through quite a few re-organizations myself where for the most part i've benefited.

One recommendation that can help greese the wheels is to softly Approach your own Supervisor to have a constructive development talk regarding current Status (postive view you should express) and desired next steps and have that clearly mapped out.

Secure you Management's acknowledgement and endorsement of what you're looking for and what will Keep you motivated - ensure they understand what your timelines are (i.e. not tomorrow but in the mid-term). And some how reflected in your mid-year or IPD. See if you can get them activily involved with your endeavor if possible without jeopardizing your future, you should be saavy enough to make that call (you know your Boss after all).

By doing this, then all of your next steps are then much much more easier knowing that at the Minimum your Supervisor is Aware. If not, you then risk blind siding your Boss if an opportunity arises internally and you act on it.

Yes, do secure lunches, build your relationships - careful express what you're looking for, politically be mindful on how you communicate about your current Status, and then soft address if there are opportunities.
I would also see if you can get a pulse of how they feel about you - maybe you can get some Feedback first as a door opener to the discussion. I know after a re-org usually the dust hasn't settled yet even after a year you can still have murkyness and unclarity, jeez i know at a former employer of mine they're still pick up the pieces of a re-org due to acquistion, 5 years later but that's the extreme.

Which goes to my over arching next advice....Always Network! Always have lunch with People with different Teams - rule of thumb, spend 10% of your FTE time doing internal Networking! In a big pharma near by, their corporate culture unwritten rule of thumb is 20% internal Networking..everybody is lunching with different People always in that relationship buidling because this is the most self-protective Approach you can have a fastly changing industry where Re-organizations nearly every year is the norm!!!! ANd the only Change!

With your Boss in the know, if you see an opportunity in a target function/Team then you just let your Boss know of your interest, clear your permission to apply (you don't have to let them know you've had soft discussion) - activate the hiring Manager of your target function and let the ball roll.



P.S. you sure you want to get closer to know we're a bit fluffy right? (that's a joke). I like being internally and process focused (i.e. within Global not dealing with country affilates, aye aye aye)
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Re: Networking / Informal Interviewing internally

Postby Ralf K. » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:50 pm

Thank you both for your responses.

I tried it today, but it was more difficult than anticipated. I tried to address an idea for a project and the time ran out. So I did not want to rush into "Do you think your team will grow / what skills do you look for?"... I planned to ask this but the person was very stress with 30 minutes meeting back-to-back. Let's see, I think it's a plant-the-seed-and-water-it-regularly strategy I have to do.

If someone has some example questions or idea let me know...

@DX: Haha I have the feeling we work in the exact same company. Let me PM you (no worries we can stay anonymous:)).
Ralf K.
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:32 am

Re: Networking / Informal Interviewing internally

Postby PG » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:36 pm

As you say just play it slow. You want them to like you as a person and think that you have sound judgement regarding work questions. Once you have an established relationship you can move on going into the type of questions that you mentioned.
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