Our top strategies for navigating internal mobility


Are you looking to advance your career without switching companies? The concept of internal mobility is becoming increasingly popular – by transitioning to new roles within their current organisation, people take advantage of opportunities to advance their careers.

According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report, employees who make internal moves are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged compared to those who stay in their current roles without mobility options. Additionally, the 2023 Global Talent Trends report by Mercer highlights that 76% of employees view internal mobility as an important factor in their decision to stay with their current employer.

In this blog post, we’ll explore strategies to help you navigate internal mobility effectively for a successful career transition.

Types of internal mobility

First of all, let’s talk about what internal mobility might look like for you.


Advancing to a higher position within your current department or team typically involves an increase in responsibilities, authority, and compensation. This is a direct way to reward your high performance and acknowledge your contributions to the organization.

Lateral moves

You can also shift to a role at the same level within a different team or department – this offers new experiences and challenges. This is particularly beneficial for broadening your skill set and understanding the organisation from all sides.

Temporary assignments

Taking on temporary roles or projects outside your usual responsibilities, such as special projects or cross-departmental initiatives, provides valuable experience and a chance to showcase your adaptability and leadership skills.

Benefits of internal mobility

Career growth

Internal mobility offers clear pathways for career progression. You can move up the ladder within your current organisation, taking on more senior roles and greater responsibilities, which can be more appealing and less risky than seeking advancement through external opportunities (although it is true that job hopping most of the time let people increase their earnings faster compared to staying at the same company).

Skill development (or exploring another area of interest)

Moving within the company allows you to develop a diverse skill set and possibly access opportunities that may not be external. For example, transitioning from a marketing role to a product management role would help you gain technical expertise and strategic insights. You don’t have to move to a completely different role – although some of the bigger companies often support their employees’ reskilling.

Organisational knowledge

When you move internally, you already understand the company’s culture, values, and processes, which lets you onboard much faster. It might be that you already know people in the new department or you continue working with your colleagues in a more managerial role – while having to learn how a new company operates every time you change jobs can be exhausting.


Self-assessment is fundamental in understanding where you stand professionally and what you aim to achieve.

A self-assessment involves a detailed analysis of your skills, experiences, and career ambitions. Here are some key questions and frameworks to assist you:

What are my core skills and competencies?

  • List your technical skills (e.g., software proficiency, data analysis).
  • Identify your soft skills (e.g., communication, leadership, problem-solving).

Which areas do I need/want to develop further?

  • Recognise skills that need improvement or new skills you need to acquire.
  • Reflect on feedback from peers, managers, and performance reviews.

What are my short-term and long-term career goals?

  • Define your immediate career objectives (e.g., gaining expertise in a specific area).
  • Outline your long-term aspirations (e.g., reaching a leadership position).


Once you have a clear understanding of your goals through self-assessment, the next step is to research potential opportunities within your organisation.

  • Many organisations have dedicated internal job boards or portals where new positions are posted.
  • Company newsletters, emails, and announcements often highlight new projects, department expansions, or leadership changes.
  • Investigate various departments within your organisation to understand their functions, goals, and challenges – identify which departments align with your career interests and goals.


Networking within your organization is crucial for internal mobility. It helps you establish connections, gain visibility, and access informal information about opportunities and company dynamics (and figure out which departments you really don’t want to work in!).

  • Connect with colleagues across different departments. Attend company events, join committees, and participate in cross-functional projects to expand your network.
  • Take part in internal training programs, workshops, and development courses.
  • Use internal collaboration tools (for example Slack) to connect with colleagues, join interest groups, and stay informed about internal discussions and opportunities.

A simple Excel sheet can help you organize and track your networking activities.

  • Columns – list the names of key contacts, their roles, departments, and how they can assist you.
  • Rows – track your interactions with each contact, such as meetings, follow-up actions, and notes on discussions.
  • Action plan – create an action plan for each contact, detailing how you will build and maintain the relationship.

Communicate your intentions

Transparency is key when considering an internal move. Secrecy never works, as your manager will most likely be your main reference.

  • Hopefully, your manager already sets up periodic meetings specifically to discuss your career development. If not, ask for them and aim for at least quarterly check-ins to keep the conversation ongoing.
  • Before each meeting, reflect on your career goals, recent achievements, and areas for development. Be ready to discuss these topics in detail.
  • The GROW model is a great & easy framework for structuring career conversations:

Goal – define what you want to achieve in your career.

Reality – assess your current situation, including strengths and areas for improvement.

Options – explore possible steps and strategies to reach your goals.

Will – determine your commitment and next steps.

Skill enhancement

Upskilling is essential for a successful internal move. As you prepare to transition to a new role within your company, focusing on skill enhancement will ensure you are well-equipped to meet the demands of your desired position.

Identifying required skills

  • Review internal job postings and role descriptions to identify the skills and qualifications required. Pay attention to both technical skills (e.g., software proficiency, data analysis) and soft skills (e.g., communication, leadership).
  • Speak with colleagues who are currently in or have transitioned to the roles you are interested in. Ask them about the key skills and competencies that have been critical to their success.

Developing a skill enhancement plan

Once you have identified the required skills, the next step is to create a structured plan to acquire and develop these skills. This plan should include various learning opportunities and set clear, achievable milestones.

  • Take advantage of online courses, webinars, and workshops that focus on the skills you need.
  • Does your company offer coaching? if not, get in touch and we can help you ask for coaching to be sponsored for you! Professional coaching can help you set goals, develop strategies, and stay motivated throughout your journey.
  • Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals can help you create a clear and actionable plan for skill development.

Specific – clearly define what you want to achieve. For example, “I want to learn advanced data analysis techniques using Python.”

Measurable– identify how you will measure your progress. For example, “I will complete three online courses and apply what I’ve learned to a project at work.”

Achievable – ensure your goal is realistic given your current skills and resources. For example, “I will allocate two hours per week for studying and practising.”

Relevant – make sure the goal aligns with your career aspirations. For example, “Learning Python will help me transition to a data analyst role.”

Time-bound – set a deadline for achieving the goal. For example, “I aim to complete this within six months.”

Showcase your value

Effectively showcasing your value is very important – you have to show the people making decisions that not only you are performing well in your current role, but also that you’re willing to move and improve further. This is often neglected but actually so important.

  • Create a portfolio that highlights your key projects, outcomes, and skills. Include examples of your work, such as reports, presentations, or case studies.
  • Quantify your achievements wherever possible. Use metrics to demonstrate the impact of your work, such as increases in efficiency, revenue growth, cost savings, or customer satisfaction improvements.
  • Collect positive feedback and testimonials from colleagues, supervisors, and clients. Have a folder where you add every little bit of feedback – it adds up!

Prepare for internal interviews

Successfully navigating internal mobility often involves excelling in internal interviews. Preparing for these interviews is crucial, as they are your opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the new role and your understanding of the company’s culture and objectives.

  • Your familiarity with the company and its people is a significant advantage. Use this knowledge to strengthen your interview performance.
  • Discuss your understanding of the company’s culture, values, and strategic objectives. Demonstrate how this knowledge makes you a better fit for the role.
  • Mention your collaborations with different teams and departments and highlight relationships that demonstrate your ability to work well across the organization.
  • Refer to company-specific projects you’ve worked on, emphasising your contributions and the outcomes.

Documenting your work

Preparing for a new role involves more than just moving to your new team – there’s a couple of extremely important things to do beforehand.

Creating comprehensive documentation of your current projects and responsibilities ensures continuity and helps your successor understand your work.

  • Develop step-by-step guides for key processes and tasks. Include screenshots, templates, and examples where applicable.
  • Develop comprehensive documentation.
  • Store documents in a centralized, accessible location.
  • Ensure your successor (if there is one) and relevant colleagues have access to the documentation.
  • Encourage the use of documentation for training and reference.

Navigating internal mobility can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone.

If you’re looking for personalised advice and strategies tailored to your unique career goals, consider reaching out to a career change coach. Interested in learning more or getting coaching sponsored by your employer? Reach out to us here:

Your next career milestone could be just a conversation away.