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The company I'm working for is restructuring and new teams has been built. Now after I received information to which team I will belong, I feel there is another team, where my skills will be more in use and I simply have more interest in the subject this other team is handling.

Who should I approach this? How can I ask to switch teams professionally?

  • Welcome to the site Junior-Devil. Since you're asking in the context of a company-specific restructuring operation, I'm not sure any answers given here will be of use to you and they probably won't be of use to anyone else in future so I'm voting to close this as company-specific. If you broaden the scope of your question to advice on making the case for a team transfer without those specifics I believe this should be on-topic here. – Lilienthal Sep 28 '15 at 7:53
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    For the future, the best time to make your wishes about assignments known is before decisions are announced. – HLGEM Sep 28 '15 at 13:15
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The easiest thing is to talk to the person who would be your new manager and tell him that you feel you would be better positioned in the other team. Having some reasons ready why that is so is helpful.

Very often there hasn't been too much thought given to who is in which team. Say they had ten employees and want two teams of five each, then it may be almost random which team you are assigned to, and that manager will be only too happy to send someone to the team he wants to be in.

On the other hand, there might have been a well thought-through plan behind the teams. In which your manager will say "No", and hopefully tell you what that plan was (a good manager would do that so you feel happy in the team you go to). In that case there may be nothing you can do, but no harm should be done by asking.

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In my experience, for shifting teams within the company, on has to prove themselves that he/she is best suited to the new team and adds better value to the company working in that team, rather than the current team.

When, the data science team at my company is being set up. There was a guy who was a Linux admin.; who have contributed really well, giving his ideas about setting up the architecture and practises; so we felt his need is much needed in the current team (as the data science team is being set up for identifying churn, insights in MRR, etc), owing to his knowledge and experience, rather than the team which he is working on.

So, get identified by giving ideas and contributing towards the setup, or have a talk with your senior or the one in charge about your interests, and how the shift is going to help the company and you personally, or if you cannot reach him; pass on the information via the HR.

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You can always ask, but usually if you are being assigned to one team there is a reason. You may feel the other team would be more interesting because it's doing something different, while management may feel that because you are so good at what you're doing that they need you as a core member of the first team. So keep that in mind, it could be a kickoff to more responsibility.

One thing to watch out for is being passed over and left in a rut because you're too good at what you do that they don't want to advance you. You would be the best judge of that.

If you feel that the other team is a much more advantageous position for you personally in terms of job satisfaction and future prospects. Then now is the time to step forward and make it known, don't leave it too late.

Assemble your thoughts on the matter, use what leverage you can think of and be proactive, it's your future. Start with your manager, and work your way up. Once they recognise you won't be happy, they'll either accommodate you or not, and you can move forwards from there.

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If you got placed on a team you don't want to be on, chances are someone else is too. Try to identify someone on the team you want to be on that wants to be on your team. If both of you independently ask your managers to switch teams, they may approve the switch, because there is a clear path to a simple resolution. But make sure you at least give the appearance of acting independently. Do not band together and present management with your double swap idea, because that can come across like an ultimatum. It will probably not go over very well.

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