What Can I Expect If I Apply For Another Position?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about applying for another position:

I work in a small hospital. I am thinking of applying for another position outside of my current department. What are some possible side effects I might incur from my current boss if I do or don’t get the other job? The other job would be a director’s position so I would be his peer. Thank you.

Signed, Anxious

Dear Anxious:

You can expect your boss to feel resentful if she/he has not been informed of your interest and intentions. And there is no way that your boss will not know if you apply. Those who make hiring decisions will want to know how your boss evaluates you and if she/he would support such a move. Have you a good working relationship with your boss? Have you voiced your concerns about the quality and effectiveness of what goes on in your small hospital? Have you shown an interest in learning all you can about its various departments?

Are you active in a professional association? Ideally, bosses take an interest in the career paths those under them; however, most bosses are so focused on the smooth running of their own work groups that they do not. Therefore, those they manage must initiate such conversations, and they should. Usually, once bosses are asked for help in thinking through career moves, they will be helpful. Sure, it is easier for a boss to want to keep those who are doing what’s expected.

You can understand that replacement of any employee is an unwanted chore if things are going well. So rather than worry about what might happen if you apply and if you do not get the job that would place you on the level of peer, confide with your boss and ask for guidance and support. Don’t gossip about applying with co-workers or obsess about your chances with your friends and family. Rather, as a professional enlist the support of those who know your work who might provide references. Enlisting the help of your boss in your career at this hospital and elsewhere should be in your best interests at some later date if she/he does not support your application now.

And even if your current boss does not encourage you, it is in her/his interest and yours to know that you want to and/or intend to apply. Planning and speaking for oneself is natural and necessary. Put your faith in appropriate communication, and learn and earn the credibility as a valued professional. Remember that you don’t have to wait for someone to tap your on the shoulder about a career move; that you can make your own opportunities. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. My best to you as you think through and pursue this possible move. Will you keep us posted?

William Gorden