Changing teams within your organization can be a strategic move that helps advance your career. You’ll acquire new skills, see a different side of the business, and encounter new perspectives — all while expanding your reach at your organization.
Switching teams also has its challenges, especially when making a lateral move. When making the transition, you’ll need to develop rapport with a new team and establish your credibility all over again.
When facing the opportunity to explore a new team, what do you look for in that new role to make sure it’s the right move? Our mentors weighed in with their recommendations on how to approach the decision.
Make sure you’re ready to move on
Before focusing too deeply on the new role, make sure you’re ready to leave your current one. David Long offers, “When you feel your learning has stopped, it’s time to find a new position. Are you still learning in your position?”
Humberto Barreda adds you should “Ask yourself if what you are doing is challenging or not. If what you do fills you with passion.” If the answer to either or both of these questions is yes, then perhaps it may be right to stay where you are. Otherwise, he recommends experimenting with other areas of the business.
The best place for you to continue growing, may be where you are.
Think long-term about your career
Next, think about the opportunities for advancement at your company. While switching teams often requires a lateral move, Mary Ann Felix suggests that moving may open more doors for you in the longer-term. “Growth, development, and job satisfaction are important considerations, even if a promotion isn’t initially included in the move. You never know what doors will be opened in the future.”
To determine whether this move will create opportunities down the line, Thomas Oder recommends you ask yourself any of the below questions:
- What is the title — will it help me in the future?
- What is the team — is it a team I admire in some way?
- Does it give me the opportunity to add to my knowledge?
- Does it increase my earnings?
As Oder puts it, “any one of these is enough of a reason to move forward.”
Get to know all aspects of the new role
Now it’s time to learn more about the new role itself. Get details on more than just the role’s responsibilities and path — think of other aspects of your job that are important to you, Felix recommends: “Other factors to consider are the job expectations when it comes to hours, commute, autonomy, and the opportunity to mentor or be mentored.”
Long agrees: “You have several things to consider: your future growth plans, your corporate culture regarding stagnation in one position versus moving, work-life balance, and more.”
By considering all aspects of the new role and team, you’ll be able to make the most informed decision you can.
Seek advice from someone you trust
At this point, Michael O’Sullivan suggests reaching out to someone you trust for advice. “Have an open and honest discussion with either your manager or something you can trust with strong knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the possible change. This person should provide you with an unbiased viewpoint as to what would be best for you and the business.”
Getting input from a fresh perspective will help push your decision forward, however you ultimately decide.
In summary, when looking to move teams:
- Make sure you’re 100% ready to move on
- Think about your long-term career plan
- Get to know all aspects of the new role
- Seek advice from someone you trust