I Love My Company, but I Hate My Job
Co-author of Grad to Great (Dalidaze Press, 2007)
What if, after a few months on the job, you still like the company you’re working for, but you dislike your functional area? Let’s say you’re in sales, but would rather be in marketing. What should you do?
First, find out if marketing is hiring, but do not go directly to the marketing department to do this. You don’t want to alert anyone to the fact you’re unhappy in your current position. News like that travels fast in an office, and nobody needs to know what you’re thinking until you’re ready for them to—especially your boss.
Instead, view the company’s web site (from your home computer), or check out the job postings tacked up in the break room, or wherever else they can be privately examined. Keep in mind that even if there aren’t any positions listed now, there may be a position opening soon. Keep your eyes and ears open while you’re in the office.
In the meantime, make friends in the marketing department, but don’t tell them you want to leave your current position. It’s important to talk to your boss before anyone else—just be sure to pick the right time.
If the deadline for your department’s biggest project is approaching, now is not the time to ask to move to a different area. Wait until the major projects are finished before you approach your boss. Then, choose a time when he or she will be most receptive to hearing you out. Pick a time when your boss is relaxed, or at least not in a hurry, and has the ability to focus on your conversation.
Nobody likes to lose a good employee, so don’t expect your boss to be elated when you explain that you want to join another team. Your boss may even take it personally. His ego could be bruised because you no longer want to work for him. To prevent hurt feelings—to the extent you can—be positive in how you approach the situation. Here's an example of how to let your boss know that your decision to pursue another functional area has nothing to do with her.