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Finding new job opportunities at your current employer

Beth Braccio Hering, CareerBuilder writer

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Thinking about changing jobs? Your best source of new employment might be your current employer. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that internal transfers and promotions accounted for an average of 51 percent of all full-time positions filled in 2009. And with good reason -- current employees have first-hand knowledge about the company and a proven track record in that environment. Employers know what they're getting. 

Take Stew Leonard's, a food retailer headquartered in Norwalk, Conn. Eighty-two percent of its managers have been promoted from within. "By the time a team member reaches the managerial level, he or she typically has gained experience in several departments," states Karen Mazako, vice president of human resources. "This diversity promotes cooperation, because management has a deep understanding of the different aspects of Stew Leonard's. They have also earned the respect of the people they will be supervising."

Changing roles
Whether you're looking to advance in your current department or seeking to change to a new one, there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of reaching your goals. 

Susan Shanklin, senior recruiter for the online marketing and sales company Red Ventures in Charlotte, N.C., offers these tips:

·  Be a superstar in your current position. Management will be more likely to give you new responsibilities if you're successful at what you currently do.

·   Have a clear and concise message about the positive impact you've made on the company and how those skills will translate to your proposed position or new job duties.

·   Look beyond your job description. What additional responsibilities can you take on in your current role that will best position you to make a transition to your desired group?

·   Be open to taking a step back either in compensation or responsibilities as you move into a new area. As you transition, you're in learning mode again. Remember that if you perform, you'll end up with more responsibilities and eventually a higher compensation, not to mention a job that you love.

Creating a position
Finding a new position often involves checking the company's website for openings and contacting human resources about interests. But what if you're interested in something totally different? 

Just because your dream job doesn't exist at your current company doesn't mean it never will. Presenting the right people with a thought-out plan of how your skills could be used in a different capacity to fill a need can have mutually beneficial results. 

Consider these success stories:

· AJ Ratani, a Web developer, noticed that his company needed a more analytical approach to optimizing its sales centers. After approaching the president of the business on how he would tackle this need, a new group (sales ops) was created -- with Ratani as sales operations director. This function now exists on all of Red Ventures businesses and has created millions of dollars in profit for the company.

· An employee at Stew Leonard's who was affectionately known as "the singing butcher" felt he could better use his special talents on a regular basis to support the store's unique entertainment-oriented atmosphere. After a conversation with the CEO, a new position called "Director of Wow" was created -- with duties such as singing birthday wishes to customers and using song to get across messages at training programs.

Sometimes an employee likes his job but needs to move to a new location for personal reasons. While transferring may be easier when companies have multiple locations, don't assume you're immediately out of luck if your employer does not have a branch facility in your new town.

"It is not a foregone conclusion that the company would not consider allowing the employee to work from a different location or remotely, depending on the position and the value derived from the employee," states Stephen Bruce, vice president of human resources for Peopleclick Authoria in Waltham, Mass. "Also, if the company is large, there may be different subsidiaries and/or other business units that may have job opportunities available to the employee."

Even if there isn't an opportunity available within the company, talking to your boss, your human resources department or even your co-workers about relocation needs can be profitable. Somebody may know somebody where you are headed and help you get a foot in the door.

"Once the family has made a decision to relocate, if the firm has a good and loyal employee, it is in their best interest to help in the process," states Alexandra Nason-Aymerich, president of the executive search firm Nason & Nason in Coral Gables, Fla. "It is good politics in the long term as that person will always be an 'alumnus.'"

Bottom line: If you are a worker worth keeping, chances are your employer will do whatever he can to help your career dreams become reality. 

Last Updated: 15/10/2013 - 11:11 AM

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