Hello everyone;

I am currently networking with people who are interested in helping me get to the next level of my career (proof positive that the conversation tools work) and I am getting some conflict in advice. I am not available to transfer from my current position until May of next year (I have to stay in my current position for a certain amount of time before I can inter-company transfer) and I have been given the opportunity to speak with the hiring manager of the person who would be hiring for the future position that I am aiming for. One of the individuals has said that I should not discuss this until I am available for transfer whereas the other says that I should talk to the hiring manager now. The fear from the previous person is that if I communicate my willingness to move up then my current manager may find out and react negatively. Is there any advice out there as to how I should proceed? Should I take the one gentleman up on his offer or wait until I am in a position to move?

stewartlogan's picture

Talk to him now. Express interest, in spite of the fact you might not be able to move now.

It's always easier to ask forgiveness than it is permission.

regas14's picture
Licensee Badge

Have a conversation with your manager. Tell her/him about your aspirations. Explain what you have identified as the likely next step in your progression. Make it clear that you understand the first criteria for advancement is to produce exectional results in your current role and that you remain focused on that first and foremost. Ask for his/her assistance in preparing for the role you see next. Remind him/her of the great benefits to him/her and the organization from preparing another leader.

Mentors should fill in some of the gaps of your manager. You should not be circumventing your manager to grow in spite of them. Leverage all of your relationships.


CalKen's picture

Thanks for your advice. I was hoping that it would be as easy as trying to keep the relationship with my current manager. I like my current job, it is just that my heart is not into it, and I suppose that subconsciously I was afraid that signalling to him that I was looking into other avenues would mean that I did not like him. Thanks again for the advice. I will communicate with the other hiring manager and let everyone know how it goes.

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

[quote]I was afraid that signalling to him that I was looking into other avenues would mean that I did not like him.[/quote]
I think that's your point right there. You definitely need to talk to your manager. Give him some credit. He might actually want to develop you. :)

regas14's picture
Licensee Badge


If you have mentors who can and are willing to open doors for you, they will be there in spite of your manager.

Wouldn't it be something though, if your mentors and manger were all pulling on the same string in the same direction? That's powerful.

Good Luck,


US41's picture

Hi, Calken.

Give your manager a chance to succeed, just like you want him to give you a chance to succeed. If he lets you down, what is the worst thing that would possibly happen? Can you brainstorm some negative consequences from you telling him that 6 months from now or a year from now you have your eyes set on something with more responsibility and more challenge and that an opening recently came about that made your mouth water?

I'm having a hard time coming up with negative consequences. Your boss might flinch for a second and consider the timeline and the work he would have to do to retain you, and if he listens to the demon on his shoulder, he might try to hold you back.

However, with networking set to full-enabled, your boss really can't hold you back. Others will pull you up and away from him if he tries, I think.

If he does hate the news, he WILL get over it, and the timeline is long enough for him to go through all of the stages of grieving.

So really, the negative consequences are almost entirely annoying behavior on the part of your current boss. Most of those annoying behaviors are things like his eyebrows going down, him frowning, or him telling you that he wants you to stay where you are, or him saying you are not ready for that kind of responsibility.

What do you care if his face moves or he sounds out words that make no sense to you? Brush it off, go forward, and he'll get over it.

I'm with the others - let your boss know your aspirations, but don't feel like you aren't allowed to have conversations with others without his permission.

CalKen's picture

Thanks for your advice, I found some pearls of wisdom in them.

I recently discussed the issue of my career path with him and I mentioned that I am looking forward to another job (I did not tell him that I am thinking of leaving his organization as the context of the conversation did not lend itself easily to it) but we agreed to discuss my career options next week. I told him recently that I was contacting others to network into other positions and he understood, but I do feel that the way he treats has changed. It is not that he is consciously changing his behavior but I think that he is internally setting himself up for the fact that I leave. Ever since that conversation he has gone out of his way to tell me that he is putting my team and I in for awards and such but at the end of the day it does not affect my decision to look for greener pastures.

I will continue with the open dialog between myself and my manager, and I will let you all know what I learn. Thanks everyone for your kindness and assistance.

asteriskrntt1's picture

In addition to all the good points made by the others (and apologies if I missed this and it is rehash), I would think that one of the reasons your manager hired you is because he saw some sparks of potential and ambition.

I don't know that I would be hiring anyone who did not have those attributes. I am guessing your offer sounded nothing like the following: "Hey Bob. I want to make you an offer. You are the only candidate I felt had no inclination toward career development and advancement. Just what I am looking for, someone to stay with me for years on end and be perfectly content."

You manage your career. Not your boss.

US41's picture

I know that we already all know this, but just in case someone stumbles on this in the distant future and takes it as advice, we were talking only about moving inside the same company.


If you did, then Mark's saying "Tell your boss the truth, and the truth shall set you free" would apply.

Listen to the How to Resign podcasts before you give notice or tell ANYONE in your company you are interviewing outside. Hint: don't even tell your own brother if he works in the company with you. TELL NO ONE.