Change is an inevitable part of life, and in the professional realm almost essential, but change does not have to mean you have to look outside your current workplace. Career change opportunities can often be closer to home than you think and might look like transitioning to a new role or widening the scope of your existing role. Yes, change can be daunting for some, but with change comes personal development and opportunities for growth. I recently transitioned into a new role here at Inspire HQ and have collated some of my thoughts and insights to share with you.
For me, I started the process by identifying the need for change and challenge. I really love working at Inspire HQ but felt that I was ready for my next challenge. This need for change doesn’t always mean you have to dust off the old resume and embark on a job search. You may be searching for growth, challenge or more meaningful work but are hesitant to look outside your current organisation, just as I was. This can be for many reasons, for example, you might have a strong value alignment with your current workplace, you might love the company culture or you are afforded the level of flexibility that gives you more work/life balance.
My advice would be to look around you and identify the gaps in your team or the wider organisation and think about what experience, expertise and skills you may be able to fill those gaps with. There may have been a recent resignation in your team or perhaps the team has grown and workloads have changed, it is in these circumstances that your experience and knowledge of the organisation and team are more valuable than you think. Try reflecting on the parts of your role that bring you job satisfaction and the parts that don’t, reflect on the skills you would like to build on and the expertise you have to figure out how you would best be able to add value to your team. It is important to remember that progression isn’t always linear – a sideways move into a new role might be just what the doctor ordered and give you a new perspective on the team and in your work, and provide you with the challenge you were craving.
Do your research on the potential role or roles you are looking to transfer into, review the position descriptions, and engage with colleagues, supervisors, and mentors to gain important insights into the responsibilities and skills that may be required of you. In addition, conduct your own market research to help you realign your salary expectations and professional development goals. This research will help you make an informed decision and discover the most suitable path for your career advancement.
Make your ambitions known to your manager, clear and transparent communication is key during a transition. Start an open dialogue with your manager and express your interest in discussing a potential new role. Clearly articulate your goals, strengths, and the value that you bring to the team. Share your research and how you see this transition looking for you and your team – this sort of proactive approach demonstrates your commitment to professionalism, to the team, and increases the likelihood of finding a role that aligns with your skills and ambitions.
Transitioning to a new role involves a learning curve which is an opportunity for personal and professional growth – embrace the learning curve. Be open to new challenges, new approaches, new learnings and seek feedback. Embracing this new learning process will enable you to build confidence, broaden your skill set and allow you to effectively contribute to your new role. Aid this curve by speaking to colleagues who are currently in or have experience in your desired role. Use your network to find a mentor or turn to the likes of LinkedIn to find creators and content that will support your learnings and keep you curious. You may even look to find a mentor that can offer you guidance, share knowledge and provide feedback as you settle into your new role.
So, look around you first and open yourself up to the new opportunities that are often right under your nose. Remember, change is a catalyst for personal growth, and in this case, professional development.