I've been told that I should talk to my manager before applying to other jobs in the company.

However, I worry that my manager is vindictive and jealous because of how he gets when I discuss work with him that surpasses his skill, and because he likes to shed a negative light on his direct reports when he believes they are "over-stepping" him (but then when you go to get his approval or confirmation, he says that the person should be more independent).

To add to this, I've been with him less than 6 months, so even if I did go to him for any reason it was because I am new and still learning.

How do you apply internally in this situation?

Edit to clarify company policy on internal transfer: you can do it after 6 months, but need good recommendations from your manager and his manager. I think the latter will not be a problem.

  • Re close vote: Questions require a goal that we can address The question and its goal are perfectly clear.
    – rath
    Apr 28, 2017 at 12:46

2 Answers 2


How do you apply internally in this situation?

You're going to have to bite the bullet and ask your manager. Make sure when you do, that you use reasons such as "this position is better suited for my long term career objectives". (Nothing that could be interpreted as a slight against them.)

If your direct manager refuses to give you a positive recommendation, but your boss's manager will, I would then ask HR if you can still proceed with your application to the other position.

Ultimately you may need to be prepared to move on from your current company if your current manager insists on holding you back.


Have the skip-level meeting first

If you have a good rapport with your manager's manager, and expect that they would sign off on this internal mobility request, speak with them first. They may have insight into whether your manager would be likely to approve this, and good advice on how to approach the subject with your manager. To be clear, you should wait on having them actually sign anything until your direct manager either signs off or refuses to do so.

That said, be careful with this option. Based on your description of your manager, this could be exactly the sort of thing he sees as "over-stepping" him. You know your office politics best, so use your judgement here.

  • This is a bad idea. You should not skip a link in the chain of command.
    – Neo
    Apr 28, 2017 at 15:55
  • @Mister Positive I do not advise asking the manager's manager to authorize anything without the manager's consent or knowledge. But seeking advice on how to approach the situation, especially given that the manager's manager will be involved in the process anyway, is not improper. I understand how it could be seen as such, especially given the manager's disposition, which is why I also urged caution in assessing whether this would be possible in this instance. Apr 28, 2017 at 16:38
  • @MisterPositive it is a civilian job not a military one Apr 28, 2017 at 19:31
  • @Neuromancer That statement is completely irrelevant.
    – Neo
    Apr 28, 2017 at 19:34

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