First-timer here with a career question!

I'm a fairly recent graduate who started a job at my current company about six months ago. The company is a large, renowned chemical company whose products I am really interested in - and my degree is in chemical engineering and includes skills that are sought after within the company. However, at the time I approached the company for a job, the only position available was more of an administrative/logistics one. I accepted it because a) I had been waiting tables for quite a while at the time* and b) I thought of it as a "foot in the door" opportunity in a great company.

I want to point out that I take my current job seriously and I believe I have a good work ethic. Very few people actually "coast" here and good results are excepted from the whole service. However, I use very few of the skills and knowledge I've gathered during my studies, and they are the ones that interest me in the first place. My intention is now to apply to internal positions in different areas, where I could develop my potential much more and possibly start a career in R&D or product development.

So, my question is this: how should I approach my intention of changing paths? I realise that my current managers have invested time and money in my training, but one of the company's credos is also to use people to their best potential. Should I contact the areas I wish to apply to, or go through my managers first? What could be the worst mistake to do in that situation?

I await your answers and will try to answer any questions you have in a timely manner. Thanks!

*I am of course not scorning hospitality jobs; I've had amazing experiences and I have met really professional people during my serving times. It is not, however, a path I wish to follow for the rest of my career.

  • Welcome to the site. We don't really know how supportive your boss might be of an internal move, or what the company policy/culture is around people jumping ship for other departments. Most we can advise is to do a good job and apply internally. I know that some bosses might be hurt if you don't tell them before applying - as their input will be sought anyway. But we couldn't know how your boss would react. I hope you'll get some better answers from a more experienced person, but my opinion is that you're risking things by not telling your boss.
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 15:39
  • @JoeStrazzere We do have some internal listings (although those only cover the particular location where I work; we have many offices/production centres scattered around the world, and for these ones I haven't found internal ads). Your comment prompted me to check on our policy and there is indeed a line about contacting your manager and HR, so I will definitely do that! I guess my question now is more how to approach the subject. Thanks!
    – Guestatron
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


No matter what I would talk to your boss first as the last thing you want is your boss finding out from someone else that you are applying for jobs internally.

But really how you handle your boss and your relationship with your boss is your best chance for moving to another job. Your boss's advocacy for you is basically a foot in the door to another group. Having a boss the vouches for you is huge in a multinational.

So really your focus should be to talk to your boss ASAP. The point being is your boss knowing the move isn't immediate will probably help ease losing you. Probably the bigger gap between the discussion and you applying for something the better.


"Hey, boss... For personal and career growth I'd like to transfer to a role that will better use my professional skills. What would be the best time, and the best way, to do that?"

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