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It's not always easy to talk to an insecure boss about a job transfer, especially if he feels threatened by your success or doesn't know how he'll manage his staff or resources once you leave. However, there are ways you can talk to your boss about a transfer without making him feel defensive. It's best to address your goals and intentions politely and honestly, so your boss doesn't feel like you're trying to undermine his authority.
Keep Track of Accomplishments
When asking an insecure boss about a job transfer, focus on work-related achievements so you can prove why the move makes sense. Since a boss's reluctance to transfer you is likely more about her personal insecurities than your shortcomings, "Forbes" magazine advises employees to keep close records of their accomplishments. Show your boss tangible evidence of your achievements, whether they involved exceeding sales goals, landing new accounts or streamlining accounting procedures. Demonstrate how your skills make a good fit for the new role you want to transfer into, and how the move can benefit the entire company.
Ask for Feedback
Insecure bosses often need to have their authority validated. When inquiring about a potential job transfer, ask your boss for constructive feedback on whether you are suitable for a transfer. If she has valid reasons for opposing it, work to improve on your weaknesses through more training. By accepting and responding to her input, she will see that you're a professional who wants to improve your performance. Demanding a transfer isn't a good way to find favor with an insecure boss.
Politely Address Concerns
Discussing the reasons behind your desired job transfer can open doors of communication with your boss. This is especially important with insecure bosses, who might feel you are transferring because of them. Even if that's the case, don't put say so when you meet with your boss to discuss your transfer. Instead, cite reasons that don't involve anyone on a personal level. Avoid complaining and politely address your specific needs and qualifications. You might say, "I'd really like to transfer because I feel like my skills are better suited to clients in the New York office." Or, "Please consider me for a transfer to the administrative department because I'm much better at organizational tasks than sales responsibilities."
An insecure boss needs confirmation that you're a team player. If he feels like you are only interested in personal gain -- and, more importantly, not interested in his input -- he might refuse your transfer request outright. On the other hand, if you show a willingness to consider alternative solutions to a job transfer, it shows your boss you want what's best for the company. If a full transfer isn't possible right now, see about working in the other role one day a week to broaden your skills. Let your boss know you are open to alternative suggestions that can benefit everyone.
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.
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