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I have been interning at a large company for around 2 years now while I've been getting my CS degree. During that period, all of my time has been spent in business units and not really IT. My internship has also been split between two groups. I began interning with my current group at the start of the year, and they hired me on full time when I graduated in late April.

I like my coworkers in my current group, but I don't really enjoy the work. The job is more of an electrical/wireless engineering role that supports a large wireless system. There is some programming mixed in, but it is not the main focus. However, no IT jobs were available when the position was offered to me and the pay/benefits were good, so I took it anyway. Now I find myself uninterested and unfulfilled. I feel like I;m not really doing what I spent four years learning how to do.

Today, I noticed that an IT job that I am qualified for was posted within the company. I think I would enjoy the position more than my current job, and I think I would be better at it. But I'm afraid of burning any bridges with my current group or boss since I've only been in the group for 6 months (and only ~2 months has been full time).

Some other possibly important facts:

  • The IT job would probably not be an increase in pay.
  • The IT job involves support enterprise-wide solutions, which I am very interested in.
  • The IT job offers telecommuting from home two days a week, which my current position does not.
  • There is no "grace period" for applying for new positions at my company. I have checked with HR.
  • Another coworker who supports my current group (and the senior member) is also leaving for an IT job in the company soon. After he is gone, I will be the only support member in the group until they can fill his position.

Could anyone give some advice for my particular situation?

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Given you have already identified this:

There is no "grace period" for applying for new positions at my company. I have checked with HR

then you have already perhaps crossed the major hurdle at least policy-wise. You've rightly identified important pros for benefits to yourself:

The IT job involves support enterprise-wide solutions, which I am very interested in.

The IT job offers telecommuting from home two days a week, which my current position does not.

This one which is more or less neutral for the organisation, however that doesn't account for cost centres that may have different budgets:

The IT job would probably not be an increase in pay.

However, the biggest con for you is this one:

Another coworker who supports my current group (and the senior member) is also leaving for an IT job in the company soon. After he is gone, I will be the only support member in the group until they can fill his position.

This one adds a risk to the company. From their perspective, until they back-fill the other role and train a new person, you have become a critical resource and that may cause some resistance to your applying.

I already got all that, so what can I do?

Well, I think to avoid the elephant in the room would be the wrong approach. I would actually discuss with your manager that you have a desire to move sideways within the organisation, but you know that doing so may cause a risk because of the knowledge you possess. You could offer to proactively write some documentation and guidelines if they don't already exist. Of course, this is dependent on the relationship you have with your manager and what you are trying to do is show that you are a responsible, company-oriented professional.

But otherwise, given policy-wise there is no issue with applying, then apply!

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Being successful in any company requires a support network. Put yourself in the shoes of your current manager for a moment, already having the stronger half of this role leave, now you want to leave? That's tough luck. It's possible your internal transfer could be denied just for the sake of practicality, if your role is important leaving it unfilled would be problematic.

Applying for a new position and having it rejected because somebody needs to fill your current role and you're the only one left would be awkward for you, your boss, and the receiving hiring manager. Your current manager doesn't exist in a vacuum, as with anybody the current manager and receiving manager operate within the formal and informal organizational structures. Your current manager may be your manager again, you may want to work for this manager again if the topography changes.

Speak to your current manager about a desire to move to another team, but share your sympathy and understanding of the difficulties which would be created by an organizationally premature move. Don't offer to stay until a replacement is found, that gives an impression that you think you're in control and doing him a favor. Let your manager know you like working with them, but it's the role that's the issue, you want to help your manager get the current team reestablished and eventually move to another team.

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