What Does Your Internal Mobility Look Like?

Companies that don’t have any internal mobility tend to lose employees as company cultural norms aren’t what they used to be.

30 internal applications in 7 years. Approximately 3 interviews and exactly 30 internal applications were all rejected. Imagine working for a company and these are the statistics that you’re faced with. Once I submitted my 30th internal application and was rejected and me being a business technical analyst decided to analyze and break down the numbers over the seven years that I was with said company. It made me realize a few things and I had an “aha” moment. Going forward in interviews I should ask, “What does your internal mobility look like?”

Truth be told I would probably still be an associate-level business analyst if I didn’t speak up and ask for a promotion some odd years ago. Three years in I saw someone get promoted that got hired after me so me being me the middle child and only girl growing up, spoke up and listed the reasons why I deserved said promotion, and I got it. Granted I didn’t come from a tech background. Before I was in tech I was a flight attendant who didn’t even know what a business analyst did let alone that it was a job title. Now I enjoy creating colorful pivot charts, coordinating releases, hosting Bingo for employee engagement, talking to clients, I even get to search through resumes and interview contractors, and I don’t know why I even enjoy writing tutorials for our knowledge management library. I get to utilize all the skills that I like and put them together to see the difference I’m making. But to do so said job forever where every day is the same would make things a little hard when it comes to growth.

Asking “What does your internal mobility look like?” from the start creates hope and most likely will avoid being in the same position within the company seven years down the line. It’s kind of like turning the tables on that “where do you see yourself in five years,” question. “If selected, where do you see me in this company five years from now.” I enjoy asking questions that make the interviewer think. My favorite one so far is, “how do you measure success in this role.”

Just remember when asking for a promotion to bring receipts that’s why it’s important to document things that you do at work so when the time comes you can list your accomplishments.

Some companies like to retain employees and feed their curiosity by allowing them to move around in the company as holding on to the employee and the company morale is better for metrics and customer service. “Progressive companies are taking a talent ecosystem approach internally and are staffing projects based on matching the best skills to the work at hand, versus proximity or even where someone resides in the hierarchy.” Other companies just like things the way they are and the hierarchy to be what it is because the Baby Boomers and people before them would stay at a job in the same position forever and it was fine. Then the millennials happened and after them, Generation Z threw everything for a loop. Cultural is shifting rather companies want to admit it or not. I foresee promoting movement within a company becoming a strategy to keep employees and promote satisfaction.

Sometimes the move isn’t even about money it’s about the desire and want to learn new things as if you stop learning you stop growing. It will be interesting to see the company hierarchy and cultures with Generation Z in the workforce. It’s also important that we learn that social media is a highlight reel and many people aren’t out here vocalizing their failures. At work I enjoy being the person that knows when to lead and when to follow and the one that everyone stares at when they need someone to address the elephant in the room.


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