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Would you tell your supervisor if you applied for a new (internal) position?


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Old 10th January 2011, 8:23 AM   #1
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Would you tell your supervisor if you applied for a new (internal) position?

Hi everyone,
This is about a good friend of mine who has been working for this particular company for about 2 years now. She does like her job, but she is overqualified for her current position. So last week she accidentally found a very attractive thing. She decided immediately that she will apply, although the company is the SAME company she works for now. She would have to apply through the company's recruitment office, but she found the position on an external homepage. The company does have a "careers" section on their own homepage, but it contains info on general recruitment and basically no jobs are listed there.
The new position is in another city, and although technically it is a different department, she would be doing the same job she does now (but under better circumstances and salary). By the way, this is the reason she thinks her application would be successful. Anyway, she says she has never been informed about any new openings and positions within the company, and doesn't know how to proceed. Note: I find it unusual that they do not know about new positions, because at my work we are regularly notified about new openings.
So, my questions are:
1. Is it unethical to apply for this position? And is this the right way to do it?
2. Should she discuss the situation with her supervisor? Or should she just apply if she decides to?
Her major concern is that, if she proceeds with the application, her current supervisor will definitely be contacted. If she doesn't get the job she will feel embarassed, and will find it difficult to work at her current position.
Thank you for comments!

Last edited by elastica; 10th January 2011 at 8:26 AM..
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Old 10th January 2011, 8:32 AM   #2
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She isn't breaking any ethical rules, but I would highly recommend speaking to the current supervisor first. It would be bad to learn about it from another source. There is also a chance the boss will offer incentives to stay or possibly suggest a better in-company method of applying. Job hunting while you have a job is only wrong if you have committed not to do so.
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Old 10th January 2011, 9:00 AM   #3
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Great points Keridan, thanks!
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Old 10th January 2011, 9:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elastica View Post
Hi everyone,
This is about a good friend of mine who has been working for this particular company for about 2 years now. She does like her job, but she is overqualified for her current position. So last week she accidentally found a very attractive thing. She decided immediately that she will apply, although the company is the SAME company she works for now. She would have to apply through the company's recruitment office, but she found the position on an external homepage. The company does have a "careers" section on their own homepage, but it contains info on general recruitment and basically no jobs are listed there.
The new position is in another city, and although technically it is a different department, she would be doing the same job she does now (but under better circumstances and salary). By the way, this is the reason she thinks her application would be successful. Anyway, she says she has never been informed about any new openings and positions within the company, and doesn't know how to proceed. Note: I find it unusual that they do not know about new positions, because at my work we are regularly notified about new openings.
So, my questions are:
1. Is it unethical to apply for this position? And is this the right way to do it?
2. Should she discuss the situation with her supervisor? Or should she just apply if she decides to?
Her major concern is that, if she proceeds with the application, her current supervisor will definitely be contacted. If she doesn't get the job she will feel embarassed, and will find it difficult to work at her current position.
Thank you for comments!
There is nothing unethical about it at all. As Keridan said, it would be strategic to inform her boss, both because the boss would want to hear it from her directly and also because it could create a positive bargaining position. Alternatively, if the 'system' allows, she could ask whether her application can be treated confidentially until she knows whether she is short listed.

Depending on what kind of person her boss is, she might find that the boss will be supportive and even put in a good word for her. Most people managers understand that over qualified workers will eventually be looking elsewhere, and if they have a good relationship with the employee they might also support them in this endeavor. I've had several bosses backing me up when I've applied for other work, because they knew it was time for me to go and they also knew I'd gone the extra mile for them several times, so that was their way of 'paying me back'.

There is no reason for her to be embarrassed should she not get the job. Where I live, I think the average stats are something like you get called for an interview for every 10 job applications you send. Obviously, this varies widely depending on the sector and position, but being rejected for a job is just part of life.
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Old 10th January 2011, 11:44 PM   #5
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It is commendable to be ambitious within your own organization. When I was recruited for my current job, I told my boss in the interview that I had aspirations to climb the company ladder. She was impressed by that- and after 10 months, I just got a promotion!

It would be different if your friend was applying outside the organization.

Your friend should notify the supervisor that she is applying for a new position so the supervisor isn't blindsided.
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Old 11th January 2011, 12:04 AM   #6
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Thanks Denise and D-Lish. I was answering from my phone. Glad someone expanded the thoughts
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Old 11th January 2011, 1:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elastica View Post
Hi everyone,
1. Is it unethical to apply for this position? And is this the right way to do it?
2. Should she discuss the situation with her supervisor? Or should she just apply if she decides to?
Her major concern is that, if she proceeds with the application, her current supervisor will definitely be contacted. If she doesn't get the job she will feel embarassed, and will find it difficult to work at her current position.
Thank you for comments!
I don't think it's unethical at all. She is perfectly in her rights to apply for an internal position. Actually companies usually look at internal applicants before external, so she has a better shot then someone interviewing outstide the company.

She should DEF tell her supervisor. Her supervisor may be able to write her a letter of recommendation and taylor her reference to the type of position your friend is applying for.

As far as embarrassment goes, it's always disappointing to not get a job, however she will still have a job even if she doesn't get this one. And if she is good at her job then I'll bet her supervisor will be happy that she gets to keep her on staff.
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Old 12th January 2011, 7:01 PM   #8
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Thank you all for replying, your comments are much appreciated!
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