How to Tell Your Boss You Want to Transfer at Work

How to Tell Your Boss You Want to Transfer at Work
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When it comes to our careers, most of us only want one thing: happiness. We want to feel fulfilled by what we do day in and day out, and that’s why more and more of us are starting to explore different career options.

If you’re at a point where you’re no longer happy in your current job but don’t want to leave your company altogether, transferring within your company might be the best option for you. Here’s how to inform your manager that you want to change jobs.

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1. Be Clear and Transparent

A common mistake among job seekers is to avoid telling anyone about their plans to move jobs. This could lead to a lot of wasted time and energy.

You’re likely to spend months looking for a new position while your current employer is searching for someone to replace you. And even if you find a new job quickly, you’ll still face the challenge of convincing your former colleagues that you deserve a raise or promotion.

The best way to ensure you don’t waste time and resources is to be very upfront about your actions. Tell your supervisor why you are moving jobs, and provide them with information about where you’d like to work.

Be honest about your skills and experience, and offer concrete examples of how you’ve improved throughout your career.

If you decide to move jobs, take the initiative and set up meetings with people in your old and new departments. Make sure you know exactly what you want to accomplish during those conversations.

2. Upgrade your resume

Once you have researched and identified positions available for internal transfer within your current organization, it’s time to update your resume and cover letter to highlight what makes you stand out among other applicants.

Pay close attention to the job description and mark the crucial competencies needed for the new department. Make a list of your qualifications that correspond to the demands of the new employment.

Suppose you haven’t updated your resume in a while. In that case, having a professional evaluate it might be a good idea to ensure your accomplishments are highlighted and your resume is keyword optimized, increasing your chances of getting the job of your dreams.

3. Discuss your current responsibilities

If you’re looking for a new job, don’t assume your boss knows what you do every day. You might be caught off guard when he asks how things are going at work. Or, you could just be asked about your career goals.

Either way, discussing your current responsibilities with your boss is important. Your goal here is to show him that you are a responsible employee who considers his needs.

4. Do your homework

The first step you should take is to read through the employee handbook. This document outlines your company’s transfer policies. If there are any requirements for transferring jobs within the organization, it might be helpful to know what those are ahead of time.

For example, does your company require you to work a certain amount of time before applying for a transfer? Or must you be employed for a specific time before making such a move?

You don’t want to make a rash decision without knowing how much notice you’ll receive. And you don’t want to go into the meeting unprepared. Be ready to explain why you’re interested in transferring jobs. Your goal isn’t just to ask for a change; you want to come across as a proactive workforce member.

5. Strengthen your ability to network

Ensure you’re prepared to network effectively when looking for a new role. There are many ways to do this, including attending industry events, joining professional associations, volunteering, and attending social gatherings.

These activities help you build relationships with people in your industry, allowing you to learn about opportunities outside of what you see advertised online.

Networking doesn’t always mean spending hours talking to strangers. Instead, think about how you can connect with people you already know.

If you attend alum events, ask former classmates for advice about jobs in their fields. Or, if you have connections at a university or college, reach out to professors and student groups. Many universities and colleges host career fairs every semester where employers come to campus to meet prospective employees.

6. Establish that it is not a personal

Explain to your boss why you’re looking for this shift in your career path. Be specific about what skills you bring to the table and how those skills will benefit the new team.

Also, mention how you feel the new group will value your contribution. And finally, acknowledge your appreciation for the work environment you’ve experienced during your tenure there.

7. Plan for Future Change

If your boss thinks she can give you some advice about changing your job or career, it could mean one thing: she wants to see you succeed. But don’t let that stop you from asking questions like, “What are my best opportunities?” or “How can I improve my odds of getting promoted?”

She may want to offer guidance on preparing for your next step or suggest ways to make your current position more appealing. You never know when something big could come up, and you want to be ready for it.

8. Make A Mutually Beneficial Case

The transfer process is often tense, especially when moving to another office. But there are ways to ease the anxiety and help you land the job.

First, don’t let the conversation become about what you want from the position. Instead, focus on how the company can benefit from having you onboard.

Second, remember that the decision-makers aren’t just looking for someone who can do the work—they’re also looking for someone who will fit into the culture and contribute to team morale.

Finally, don’t forget to highlight your professional development opportunities. This could include learning new technology or expanding your skill set. If you’ve been working in one place for a while, offer to teach others what you know. You never know where new knowledge might come in handy.

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9. Schedule a Discussion

Now might be the perfect time to broach the topic if you’ve been thinking about moving but haven’t told anyone. You could even wait until your boss leaves for the day.

The timing is important because your boss won’t be able to help you decide whether to accept or deny the transfer. She needs to be free of distractions and focused on work.

Also, she shouldn’t be distracted by having to talk with you about something personal. This isn’t the time to discuss your relationship problems, family issues, or financial situation.

These topics can come up later, but not now. Your boss doesn’t want to think about anything besides work.


If you’re thinking of transferring to work, it’s important to have a game plan. Start by writing down your goals and what you want to achieve in your new role.

Next, reach out to people who have held the position you’re targeting or currently hold that job and ask them for advice on making the transfer successful.

Finally, polish up your resume and start networking with people in your desired field. With a little effort, you can make the switch from one company to another without causing too much disruption in your career.

Are you ready to take the next step? Contact our expert resume writers today to help craft an application that stands out from the competition.

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