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Got hired by my current boss about a year ago, i have an oppotunitty in another department which is mine if i can get his blessing to move. He is currently doing interviews to add another person to our current team(same position as mine), so if i did move he could probably just hire two at the same time(one backfill for me, and one based on original request)

One caveat, when interviewing he said that if he hired me he expected me to stay for two years, and i agreed. so I guess i'd be asking him to let me go either way.

to be honest, he could hire two people for the price of one of me and get almost double the output. Also, this new opportunitty is an advancement for me. so if i ask him and he says no, then it would be as if he is going to hurt my career progression.

Is having him talk with the potential future manager a good idea? I don't believe my current boss really likes the idea of collaborating with the other team, so that might turn out bad, but on the other hand working with my old bosses team in the future will also be critical to both of our success.

Edit: The two year commitment was an informal agreement between me and him. Our company does have a "general" policy that you need to be in a role for one year and have your boss approve before you can transfer. I think i will just ask him if he'd generally be supportive if i wanted to apply to an internal opportunity that was good for both the company and my career. I honestly don't see him saying no. Although I kinda know he won't want to.

  • "he expected me to stay for two years" - this expectation / hope wouldn't be unusual for a permanent role. Making it explicit or agreeing to it doesn't really change anything (unless it's in your contract). He may also just have meant having you stay in the company for that long, but only he would know what he meant. – Dukeling Jun 2 at 15:43
  • No he didn't, but i don't plan on it being an issue he needs to be worried about. Sounds like it will be best to just be open about my goals. – John Barbour Jun 3 at 3:52
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Tell him that you want to take advantage of this opportunity and have an open, honest conversation with him about the importance of this opportunity for you. Your career advancement isn't up to your boss, it's up to you. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that's the bottom line.

The only potential complication is the two year commitment that you made. Is this commitment legally binding? If not, then the only thing at risk is your word, which is important, but this opportunity is important as well. That's the part you need to figure out.

I understand that you don't want to go back on your word, jeopardize your relationship with your boss, or create a situation that might be uncomfortable for working with this manager and his team in the future, but your career belongs to you. If he says no are you going to not pursue this opportunity?

Also, when you say that you want/need to get your boss's permission, I understand what you mean, but I need to make the point that you don't need and shouldn't seek out anyone's permission to do what's best for you and for your career. Your career belongs to you and nobody else. You alone are responsible for the path it takes. Don't ever let anyone make decisions that put you off of the path that you want for yourself.

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    "in some companies, you do in fact need your current boss's permission to transfer internally" Yes, and I have even heard of people being fired for internal interviews without their manager's permission. – Mattman944 Jun 2 at 16:47
  • Not legally binding, but plan to respect it either way. – John Barbour Jun 3 at 3:54
  • I understand that. Let me ask you this, if your boss nixes the transfer what will you do? Is this an opportunity you're willing to lose? Would losing it cause resentment on your part? – joeqwerty Jun 3 at 4:49
  • Thanks Joe, not completely, but yes i have thought of this. It would be disappointing, but i'm kind of already expecting it to not happen easily. What i would likely do is continue to collaborate with the other group while doing my day job, i am doing more work that i enjoy for them. Either he will get the point that it would be ultimately better to let me cross, or by the time more time goes on I will probably have an even stronger case to cross over. – John Barbour Jun 4 at 1:01
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You need to talk with the manager.

The "you must stay 2 years" is but one part - he may look on it from a "benefit to the company" and as you said take the opportunity to get two instead of one.

Maybe he will ask you to do some training for a month or two then you go forward...

Just have the talk with him, it will be what it is, until you talk to him...

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