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Please forgive this very general question but I'm really kind of stumped. I'm looking for some advice about what I should consider when trying to engineer a lateral move within my end client organisation, a large financial services company.

The reason I want to move is because I have it on some authority that my current team could be in line for some cost cutting around March time. So, I would prefer to be happily ensconced in another team if and when that happens. TLDR; my current team are not seen as being that relevant to the group anymore

There are three other team leads I have a good enough working relationship with to approach, to see if they would be open to me moving to their respective teams. There are no official openings on those teams that I'm aware of, but I am fairly confident that they see me as someone able to bring value.

I am looking for ideally anecdotal guidance or opinion from people who may have done this before or had one of their direct reports do this. Specifically, I am asking for some help working out what my first move should be.

Most of my uncertainty about how to proceed revolves around how I manage my current Team Lead, i.e. do I loop them in concerning my intentions, and if so, should I do that before reaching out to the other team leads? Is there a way to instigate this which minimises the risk of alienation? Or is this one of those situations where the approach with the greatest chance of success also carries the highest risk?

Just to clarify, I am not an employee at the end client but a contractor working through an external consultancy. The consultancy's position on this is not relevant as they are only acting as an intermediary in this matter; the working relationship exists between myself and the end client.

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    Why do you want to move? Is it another job, or do you like their work better, or their people? I would assume it's an easy sell to your old teamlead, if it's another job altogether or at least a different speciality. It gets progressively harder to loop in your current team constructively if the reason is "I just don't like you guys".
    – nvoigt
    Feb 1 at 11:04
  • @nvoigt the reason I want to move is because I have heard on the grapevine that my current team could be in line for some cost cutting around March time. So, I would prefer to be happily ensconced in another team if and when that happens. TLDR; my current team are not seen as being that relevant to the group anymore.
    – numenor
    Feb 1 at 11:25

1 Answer 1

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First move: go talk to those other projects about whether they're interested in bringing you in. Also, to support that or as backup, see if your company has internal job listings that might give you a lead.

Remember that the difficulty of a transfer is often proportional to how high you have to go in the management chain to find the manager who owns both projects.

Best of luck, and quiet applause for being alert enough to look at this option. I was always too focused on getting the current task done to look very far ahead; I managed to keep going anyway but I definitely missed some opportunities.

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  • Appreciated, thanks!
    – numenor
    Feb 1 at 14:57
  • I disagree: first move is to carefully read the contract with the consultancy (which often blocks this type of thing) and/or the employee handbook of the employer which often will describe the proper order of operation for transfers. Second move is to look at open reqs. 3rd move would be to reach out (using the 1st step as defined in the handbook).
    – Hilmar
    Feb 1 at 14:57
  • Missed the fact that this was a consulting gig. That definitely complicates matters
    – keshlam
    Feb 1 at 16:31
  • @Hilmar I have already spoken to the consultancy about this. They are happy for me to proceed as long as I keep them in the loop.
    – numenor
    Feb 2 at 11:46

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