Your Office Coach: Ask to be included in corporate moves

 

My office will probably be closed by the company sometime next
year. There are only two of us at this location, and our
headquarters is in a different state.
Q:

My office will probably be closed by the company sometime next year. There are only two of us at this location, and our headquarters is in a different state. I would like to continue my career here, so I’m quite willing to relocate. However, I don’t know how to get the attention of anyone in corporate management.

Over the years, I have assisted several corporate employees with special projects, and I believe they would describe me as conscientious and reliable. I also have many ideas for streamlining processes and increasing efficiency. How can I find another position within the company?

A:

Start by getting in touch with your current corporate contacts. Let them know that you are seeking a transfer and ask if they would be willing to provide a favorable reference. Even if these folks are not in management themselves, they undoubtedly know people who are.

Next, you need to have a talk with your human resources manager, because the HR department is frequently involved in staffing decisions. Express your interest in staying with the company, and don’t be afraid to engage in some appropriate self-promotion.

For example: “Even if this office is closed, I still hope to continue my career here. I’m willing to relocate, so I would like to talk with you about transfer opportunities. My corporate colleagues can verify that I am hard-working and dependable. I’m also knowledgeable about field operations and have ideas for improving our business processes. What career options do you see for someone with my background?”

Finally, don’t wait too long to have these conversations. Decisions about layoffs and transfers are likely to be made well before the office closure is announced.

Q:

My team leader has started asking one of my co-workers to make changes to my projects.

We are all software programmers, but we work on different products. Since I’m never told about these requests, the changes catch me off guard.

When this started, I asked the team leader to keep me in the loop, but he hasn’t done that. How should I handle this?

A:

What you really need to know is the reason for your team leader’s sudden decision to bypass you.

Is talking with your colleague simply more convenient, or are there concerns about the quality of your work? To find out, you will have to ask a direct question about his motives.

For example: “Lately, I’ve noticed that Ted has been making changes to my projects without my knowledge. He says he’s doing this at your direction, so I wanted to find out why you’re giving these instructions to him instead of me. Are you uncomfortable with my performance in some areas?”

If your team leader offers constructive feedback, pay close attention. But if he says all is well, explain the problems created by these unexpected changes and ask if he will bring requests directly to you in the future.

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