Internal Mobility in the Workplace: A Career Coach's Guide

by Dominic Atkinson
Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Perhaps you feel overlooked, watching others being promoted ahead of you. Achieving a promotion requires more than excelling at an interview; it demands time, effort, and a bit of strategic planning.

Imagine for a moment, your career is a magnificent, intricate castle, with each room representing a different role and a new opportunity within your organisation. Many believe that to explore new levels of this castle and to climb higher, they need to first set a course into the unknown and leave the castle entirely. Without realising, however, that the key to your next great opportunity may already be within your grasp, hidden in plain sight within the very walls you navigate daily.

Could your next step up be an internal one?

Today we’re talking ‘Internal mobility’, if you’re not familiar with the term it is all about taking that next step up within the organisation you're already working in. 

Internal mobility is about recognising that the castle you're in is filled with untapped potential. By strategically navigating its halls, forging critical relationships, and continuously improving your skills, you can uncover opportunities for growth without ever needing to leave. Embrace the journey, polish your armour, and prepare to unlock new rooms within your career castle.

This guide will walk you through some of the steps to effectively position yourself for a promotion and ensure you're paid your worth.

Additionally, we can’t forget… 

Internal mobility benefits organisations as well, so we’ve included guidance for team managers on how focusing on internal mobility leads to; efficient talent mapping, streamlines development conversations, and reduces recruitment costs by identifying internal candidates for new roles. It can also enhance preparation for personal development conversations, foster cross-departmental communication, and highlight the talent map within the organisation.

Six Steps to follow

Step-by-Step Guide to Promotion

1: Identify What You Want

Envision the role you wish to achieve. Whether it's the manager's office with a view or a specialised corner in the R&D lab, understanding your destination is crucial. Research the various roles available within your organisation and pinpoint gaps where your unique skill set could be the perfect fit. If you have difficulty identifying your unique strengths and skills, follow our strengths and skills assessment here (signup required).

2: Seize Opportunities

In the bustling corridors of your workplace, chance encounters can open doors. Prepare a sharp, compelling elevator pitch for these moments. Understand the culture, know who the key decision-makers are, and why they make the choices they do. This awareness will help you market yourself effectively and position you as a proactive, insightful team player.

3: Seek Feedback

Just as knights polished their armour to reflect their readiness for battle, seek Feedback to fine-tune how you come across. This continual improvement will help you shine in the eyes of those who hold the keys to new opportunities.

4: Network

Forge alliances with key decision-makers and colleagues who can advocate for you. Relationships are the hidden passages that can lead you to new rooms within your career castle.

5: Develop Skills

Embrace new responsibilities and continuously hone your skills. Demonstrating capability and a willingness to grow shows that you are ready to step into new roles.

6: Enhance Visibility

Ensure your achievements are known. Document your successes and share them strategically with your manager, especially during performance reviews.

How to Ask for a Raise: 4 Effective Tips

1: Evaluate Your Current Role

Assess your job description and compare it with the tasks you are actually performing. If you are taking on additional responsibilities or have developed new skills, you may have a strong case for a salary increase.

2: Prepare for a Salary Negotiation

Research salary benchmarks, document your achievements, and build your case by aligning your request with the company's goals. Use resources like Glassdoor to find out the going rate for similar roles in your geographical area.

3: Seek Professional Development

Upskilling can make you more valuable to your current employer and increase your chances of a raise. Look for relevant courses or certifications that can enhance your skills. Explore internal job postings or projects that can provide new experiences and responsibilities.

4: Discuss Career Progression

Have an open conversation with your manager about your career aspirations and seek their advice on what you need to do to achieve a higher salary or promotion. This can help you understand the company's expectations and timelines for career progression.

Things to consider

Exploring Additional Responsibilities

Taking on additional responsibilities or leading new projects can demonstrate your commitment and capability, making you a stronger candidate for a raise or promotion.

Consider a Lateral Move

Moving to a different department or role within the same company can provide new opportunities for salary increases and career growth.

Stay Informed and Evaluate Your Position

Understand your financial needs and how a salary increase or job change would impact your situation. Keep an eye on job openings and salary trends in your industry to benchmark your current salary and decide if seeking a new job is the right move.

How organisations can embed an Internal Mobility plan:
The role of Career Coaching

Adopting an Internal Mobility Plan is a strategic move that benefits both the organisation and its employees by fostering growth, improving retention, and enhancing overall business performance. 

Like individuals, organisations need support too. Leveraging the skills of a career coach will prepare team members for personal development conversations, enable them to seek feedback, articulate their strengths, and understand how their skills align with organisational needs. This cross-departmental communication further highlights the organisation's talent map, streamlines career development conversations and ensures the right people move into the right roles.

The Key Benefits of nurturing talent within your organisation a breakdown:

Efficient Talent Mapping

Career coaching helps employees clearly understand their strengths and career aspirations. This clarity makes talent mapping more straightforward for the organisation, as team members are better prepared to discuss their career directions and identify gaps they can fill.

Streamlined Conversations 

Career coaching fosters efficient career development conversations. Employees who spend time considering their personal goals and how they can contribute to the organisation lead to more transparent, more efficient discussions. This not only frees up valuable time but also enhances the effectiveness of talent mapping.

Reduced Recruitment Costs 

By identifying internal candidates for new roles, organisations can significantly reduce recruitment costs. Moreover, having a strong internal mobility plan and career coaching program helps retain talented employees, reducing turnover caused by a lack of career progression.

Enhanced Preparation for Development Conversations 

Coaching prepares team members for personal development conversations. They become better at seeking feedback, articulating their strengths and areas of interest, and understanding how their skills can address organisational needs. This cross-departmental pursuit of opportunities also improves communication and highlights the talent map within the organisation.

See Coaching in Action

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