So you’ve decided to rotate and feel good about your reasons, but are worried about finding the right job. How do you know what’s the right next step?How do you know what the new team is really like?What if you rotate and the team reorgs and the manager and job changes? These are questions we all ask, but they don’t actually help us find the right job. There are no guarantees in life. There’s no guarantee the team won’t restructure. There’s no guarantee you won’t get into the job and three months later realize what a hot mess it is. There is no such thing as a guarantee. You can keep fighting against that reality or you can just acknowledge there are certain things out of your control and focus on what you can control. I encourage people to start by getting very clear on what exactly they want out of their next role. What is it that you want to be different? What projects or skill do you want to grow around? Be very clear on what areas you are not willing to compromise on in your next move. Once you are clear, then start networking, searching the job board, and putting out feelers. When you are clear about what you are looking for, the coffee chat is going to be much more productive for you and the other person. I think the questions you ask tells the hiring manager about you and what you bring to the team more than how you answer their questions. As an internal employee, you know the drill. You know what questions they are going to ask and how to frame the answers. You know the interviewing process. Let’s say you decide your three must haves are a safe place to fail, work life balance, and having a voice at the table. When you go to the coffee chat, ask questions that will give you insight into these areas. Ask things like, “What are the three failures the team has this quarter and what did you learn from them?” If they can’t answer, then maybe they are not actually learning from their failures. Ask things like, “When are your teams peak times and what’s the expectation during those times?” If the answer is peak times are during launches that happen every month, that’s a different data point than if peak times are during Q4. If they can’t clearly answer the question, that would be a red flag to me. Ask things like, “What does your team do to make sure feedback is incorporated into team projects from employees at all levels?” You have to be clear on what you are looking for. Then when circumstances change, you are not regretting your decision because you based it on things outside of your control- like who your manager is or what project you work on.
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