I am in a situation where I need to start looking for another position. The main reason is that I am in a job that really is not the best fit for my skills, (Operations Manager). I would like to move to a job that better fits my skills (Project Manager). I have past experience in this and have done several projects in my current role (I am about 50% project oriented).

My first priority is to stay with my current company. I work for a great company and I have lots of visibility with senior management. I have been here just short of 10 years.

My issue is that my current manager is an Angry and Demeaning Bad Boss. I can't apply for jobs without her knowing about it. Every job I apply for she gets an email stating I have applied.

I looked for podcasts on Internal Job search and didn't seem to find any. If am I wrong please point me in the right direction. How do I handle job searching Internally? What do you say to your current boss as you search? My first inclination is to express myself openly and honestly, explaining why I think a change would be better for my company. How I feel my skills are underutilized in this positon. How I feel I have more to offer. However given my boss tends to treat people who apply out extremely poorly I am not sure how to proceed.


celing's picture

Try to talk about the positions you’re interested in before applying formally.

You have lots of visibility with senior management. Therefore, you have some kind of relationship with some. Use this and see whether you can talk to some about the opening, ask some questions etc. without applying yet. This way your boss might not notice right away. But be aware that he also might get some information from senior management about your approach.
Once you know that the opening is a fit and that senior management would interview you, you probably have to bite the bullet, apply and have your boss informed.

I think that you cannot hide your search completely. You just can try to make it more likely to be successful once it is revealed.

JRMoreau's picture

First, I know there are some career tools podcasts relevant:
Any networking casts, and the internal interview casts
Using HR casts
Cast on Requesting Advice

Second, you have to bite the bullet on the bad boss eventually, but not immediately. This is where the Power of Coffee comes into play. People love talking about themselves and what they do. Dale Carnegie has it 100% correct when he says that one of the easiest ways to be thought a good conversationalist is to get the person talking about what they like. So identify some of your contacts in departments that you're interested in and ask if they have time to grab coffee because you want to learn more about their department. It doesn't have to be coffee, it can be lunch or even just 15-30 minutes at their desk. If they don't have a position right then, they'll keep you in mind for future openings. If they do have a role open, pre-wire by reading the posting and identify points that you can do or are doing right now. Steer the conversation towards those aspects of their department where you can speak with expertise and enthusiasm. The goal is to get them to mention their posting without you saying that you know that position is out there.

Once the other department has invited you to apply (or encouraged it), it's time to let your boss know. Your boss may have less power here than you think. If your company has a policy or culture encouraging internal hiring, she can't do much about it without going against the norm. She could try a whisper campaign or bad mouthing you to the hiring department, but that could easily blow up in her face. If you are such a horrible employee, why has she kept you? If you're not ready for the next step (and have been there a few years) why hasn't she developed her people? Angry and demeaning can often be a cover for insecure and needy . If (big IF) you can turn the situation so she can't get in your way without hurting herself, you've cleared that obstacle. Alternately, if you can sell your promotion as making her look good, you've not just removed a barrier, you may gain a supporter.

Above all else remember: Until you're ready to apply, you're not searching, you're just having coffee. That is the power of coffee.


"It's got to be done and done quickly, so let's get it done."
-General Henry "Hap" Arnold, first General of the U.S. Air Force.