My position will be eliminated next year, but I'm reluctant to start over again in a new company. My boss is encouraging me to look around in this one. What are the best methods of finding new position in the same company?
The most common approach is the obvious one: aggressively pursuing open jobs. And this is the tack that works most often.
But there's a less-known option you can try if you're really daring: persuading the company to create a new position that matches your skills with the company's needs. Lots of "intrapreneurs" have landed good spots with this strategy.
First let's discuss the pursuit of vacant positions. The rule of thumb is to go about it the same way you would look for an outside job.
"There's no law against networking internally," says recruiter John Lucht, author of "Rites of Passage at 100,000-Plus." Aim at other areas in the company and make a point of meeting people who work there.
Toot That Horn
Even if you've worked with someone for 20 years, don't be afraid to reintroduce yourself in a two-minute pitch, says Kate Wendleton, director of a New York job search group.
Say something like, "You may know me as a marketer, but I've done much more than that."
Be aggressive. "Don't wait for the company to find something for you. says one banker who recently found a position in the customer-service area.
The day after she heard that her marketing job was being eliminated, she called all her senior contacts in search of opportunities. But don't make them feel pressured, she warns.
And beware of people who try to get you to bad-mouth the company where your job is ending. She responded by saying: "I'm not happy about it, but I understand the business reasons for it."
The Hard Sell
Also, treat face-to-face discussions like job interviews. Bring a resume, and follow up afterward. And consider all ideas, even about working in a department with a narrow focus or that may have had a bad reputation.
In the meantime, don't slack off. "Deliver 100% on your present job until it is ended" so your reputation doesn't suffer, she says.
If you are the creative type, try to get a new job set up for yourself.
Look at the company as a consultant would, with fresh eyes, says Letitia Chamberlain, the director of the Center for Career and Life Planning at New York University's School of Continuing Education.
Find a Need
Look for new trends and corresponding holes that need to be filled in your company.
When you find one, position yourself as the person to do that job. Campaign for it, and negotiate.
Don't let yourself think, "They'll never go for this."
Be sure to present the idea in a way the company can relate to. In other words, make clear what's in it for them.
"Just as it may not be productive to seek a raise on the grounds that you need more money, it may similarly not be productive to propose the creation of a new job on the grounds that it will keep you working," according to Wilbert R. Sykes, chairman of the TriSource Group in New Rochelle, N.Y.
He says to consider these political questions:
* Whose territory are you invading?
* Is there someone better qualified than you, to whom should you suggest the idea?
* If you got the job, where would it lead?
Don't Get Pigeonholed
Experienced "intrapreneurs" say to steer clear of the human-resources people. "They'll only pigeonhole you," says one man who got his company to create a job for him."
And be aware that some people will feel threatened by an innovative thinker.
One banker in the South tried to talk his company into offering a domestic product to foreign customers. He sent the chief executive a proposal. The CEO agreed - but decided to appoint someone with more experience in the area.
But this banker is not discouraged. He made himself more visible and established himself with the CEO as a team player.
There is no downside to doing this, he says. "It's like asking a girl out. The worst she can say is |no.'"