Should I Apply For an Internal Position at My Company?

Dear Classy Career Girl,

I need help deciding if I should apply to a lateral position in my company! I am in a mid-career position and just found new position at my current company that I know I could do very well. It’s with a different company unit than my true passion, however, I am still very interested in that unit, but office location is so much worse for me (one of my goals with working outside the home is to have a commute no longer than half an hour, but this location is about an hour away based on traffic each day). I like the leader there and have a very good repoire with him.

Should I apply for this position, which is posted internally before being available to the whole outside world, even though I most likely would not take it (- unless some major concessions could be made for helping out my personal situation [single mom…day care issues, etc]).

Is it good to apply for lateral and/or new positions to make sure you show you are interested in advancing with the company?

Thanks for your advice,

Office Politician

Looking at the Pros and Cons Should I Apply for an Internal Position?

Hi Office Politician,
It sounds like there are a lot of reasons that you wouldn’t want to take this job, and the fact that you even said you wouldn’t take it probably is a sign. I would trust your gut and intuition and not apply for the position. I think it would look even worse if you applied and went through the whole process and then decided not to take the job.
I usually say that it is a great experience to get out there and interview for new jobs because you can learn so much about yourself and what you want to do and get great practice for future interviews. But, I would not give you this advice if it is in your current company and it could actually damage your reputation by going through the whole interview process and then not taking the position.
The reasons you list are all reasons that you know before you apply for the job. So, if you get the offer and don’t take it because of these reasons, they are going to see you never really wanted the position in the first place.

Be Upfront From the Beginning

You could reach out to the other leader there and discuss it with him just because you have a very good relationship with him. Maybe just talk about the positives and negatives before you apply, that way he knows that you are trying to advance in the company and get new experiences. However, they will appreciate you not applying if you don’t intend to take it, because it saves them time in the long run as well.

Don’t Take a New Job That Isn’t Challenging

The other thing is that if you can do it with your hands tied, it isn’t really a challenge for you. Go for a position that would be more challenging so you don’t get bored and want a new job again so quickly. Another red flag is that it would not be your true passion.
You really have to look at both of these things because if you decide to take this position, you will be looking for another job next month.  You want to find a job that you are passionate and happy about and that you are learning more about every day. Otherwise, you will get bored.

Trust Your Gut

Also, being that you are a single mom, I would pay a lot of attention to your commute. I just moved somewhere where I now have a shorter commute and it is seriously making such a difference in my happiness and work life balance. I know I am not a mom yet, but I can imagine it being so important to be close to work so you can spend time with your family and be available if there are emergencies.
If I were you, I wouldn’t even think about a 1-hour commute unless you are willing to move there. You will burn out very quickly being so far away I think.  Plus, you will probably have to pay more for daycare anyways.

When You Should Apply For a New Position

I think it is good to apply to new positions that are a step up, a little promotion, or even lateral position in a new area of the company where you will learn more. But, I would not apply for a lateral position if you aren’t going to be learning something new and you still like your current area.
I would talk it over with your boss and let them know you want to advance and take on a new position to learn more, and you even thought about taking this other position, but you think you would want something even more challenging. Showing your boss, you are up for a big challenge and ready to take on more responsibilities will make you look good and might lead to the perfect new position.
Hope that helps!  Good luck!


Hi, I'm Anna!

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