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I'm kind of a strange situation and I'd like some advice on how to navigate forward. Here's the details.

  • My primary skill and career has been in IT. I currently work in a related role for a company whose primary business is not IT. The amount of work I have is variable and sometimes it is quite quiet.

  • I have a secondary professional skill, practiced via freelancing, related to marketing, which is the primary business of my employer.

  • My employer is about to undergo a restructuring. This is being made light of, but I'm wary: it's possible in the medium term I may be relocated, see undesirable changes to my job or even lose it.

  • The marketing department where I work know about my secondary skill and, occasionally, call on me to use it. My actual line manager isn't really aware of this: I normally pick it up during the quiet times. I have been told by marketing it is likely they will want more of my time for this in future. However they already have the necessary skills in their department - I'm just helping out to save them time (plus I'm pretty good at it).

So here's the deal: I would like to try and get an official split in my job time between IT and marketing. That way I get some cool extra stuff for my CV and - as I see it - I put myself in a better position to negotiate or otherwise protect myself during a restructuring.

I don't really want anyone to know that my IT work is sometimes quiet as that leaves me in a more vulnerable position. I also don't particularly want to expose myself as wanting to do this to my line manager in case it sounds like I'm a flight risk.

How should I best approach negotiating this? Or am I best off staying quite for now until the restructure is complete?

  • why does it leave you vulnerable that your IT role is somtimes quiet? seems proactive and good that you have found another way to spend your time, no? – bharal Aug 17 '17 at 13:17
  • @bharal Because the other way I spend my time is neither officially sanctioned nor strictly necessary. The IT department would probably prefer I spend my quiet time on low-level busywork such as reviewing old documentation etc. The Marketing department can function perfectly well without me. – Bob Tway Aug 17 '17 at 13:34
  • People sometimes get promotions during restructurings. – Dan Pichelman Aug 17 '17 at 13:54
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If you'd like to get something like this put in place a restructure like this would seem like a prime opportunity. There might be internal budgetary red-tape to overcome but that will depend on how your company is set up and if you don't ask you don't get! I understand what you are saying about the possible vulnerability this might cause you but I think that can be mitigated if you phrase it right. How about saying something like this?

Hi [line manager], I'm not sure if you are aware of this but I actually have some skills that are useful in marketing and on a few occasions in the past the marketing department has asked me to help them out with a few things. I've always made sure that this doesn't interfere with me getting my IT work done which is obviously the priority but I've been thinking about the upcoming restructure and it's got me wondering if the business would be interested in having me as official resource to help the marketing team out? I'm more than happy to do this and [mr x/ms y] in marketing has said before that they could use more of my time if it were available.

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