A Move within Your Company
an officer in the commercial loan department of a large bank. I’ve
been with this bank for almost five years and I’m getting restless.
While I’ve advanced rapidly in the loan department, it’s time for me
to learn more about other areas of banking. Last week I heard about
a new position in the commercial trust division that sounded really
interesting. How do I apply for that job when I have no experience
in trust and my manager is notorious for “hanging on” to his good
You haven’t mentioned how you heard about the opening in trust. If
it was through a job posting system, where anyone may respond, you
can talk to a personnel representative, who should take your
application to the trust manager for review.
heard about it via the grapevine, expressing your interest in person
may be tough, especially if your boss and the trust manager know
each other. On the other hand, while direct contact can be
politically delicate, you may have a better chance of getting an
interview if you pursue it yourself, rather than relying on someone
situation you need to prepare a case for why the trust department
should regard you as a potential asset, even though you lack trust
experience. Your transferable skills plus your knowledge of the
bank’s milieu are the keys to selling yourself. Get a job
description of the position you want, if one’s available. Then
examine your experience and pinpoint areas that most closely
correlate to trust management. Skills such as planning and
initiating projects, motivating staff, using numbers as reasoning
tools, and developing rapport with customers should all be valuable
in both loan and trust activities.
Be sure to
tell your manager that you are looking into the new position. He
needs to hear this from you, not personnel or the grapevine.
Emphasize that to pursue a career in banking, you need a greater
breadth of experience to build on the excellent foundation he’s
given you. Also, be prepared to tell him why your move will benefit
him and the company and how you plan to make your transfer as
painless as possible for his department.
learn an important lesson from this experience. Don’t confine all of
your attention to the department where you are currently working. If
you want to move within the bank’s hierarchy, you must make contacts
throughout the organization, who will help you get what you want.
It’s much easier for someone to pull you into his area than for you
to push your way out of a stale situation.