You enjoy your work, get on well with everyone in the office, and are happy with the company. The problem is, you’ve outgrown the job. Before you check out the vacancy boards, have you considered creating your own opportunity? Career coach Ruth Winden at Careers Enhanced reveals how to create a new job at your current company in seven easy steps.
What’s your great idea, and why should it matter to your employer?
Before the company will consider creating a new role, there needs to be a genuine business need. Perhaps the organisation lacks an in-house training programme, or maybe they are losing customers as no one is resolving complaints on social media?
‘What are the most pressing problems in your company that YOU can solve? Which opportunities can you spot that will help your company make more money or save more money?’ asks Ruth.
‘Look at your idea from your employer’s perspective: to create any new role will initially cost money, it will take some level of re-organisation to fill your current role, and someone has to speak to plenty of people to justify this new position.’
What’s the return of investment (ROI) for your employer?
Once you’ve identified a business need, dig a little deeper. As a result of creating this new post, what can your employer expect to gain?
‘You need to calculate your employer’s expected ROI, how fast you can make it happen and the potential risks,’ advises Ruth
‘Do the numbers, and be realistic about your projections and timescales. The clearer you are about how you can add real, tangible value that will solve a problem and make a financial difference to your employer, the greater your chance of success.’
Pick a good moment
Knowing when to pitch your great idea is equally as important, as Ruth explains.
‘If your organisation is expanding anyway, this could be a good time to create a new role.
‘If times are tough and keeping costs down is a priority, you will need to work extra hard to make a case. Now might not be the time to suggest expanding marketing activity, especially if you can’t put a firm ROI next to the role.
‘If things are really tight, you might have to wait until things pick up.’
Who are your champions, supporters and opponents?
Before you take your proposal to your manager, can you rally support from others in the business?
‘In whose interest is this new role? Who do you need to influence? Whose support can you count on, and who do you expect to be against your idea?’ asks Ruth.
‘Think ahead of any objections that your seniors and colleagues will have, and find good counter arguments. Don’t take anyone’s resistance personally – you will have thought about this proposition for a while, whilst to your employer it’s all new. They might need time to see the value of your idea.’
Practice your pitch
You’ve double checked your calculations, sought input from the rest of the business, and considered the risks as well as opportunities. Now you just have to convince the decision makers that it’s a great idea.
‘Write a succinct business case for creating this new post,’ suggests Ruth. ‘Treat it like a real business pitch and give it the attention it deserves.
‘Then get feedback from a trusted source, for instance a mentor or other senior professional, maybe even an internal champion. Ask them to challenge you and ask questions.’
Get your boss on side
Any change to your role will impact on your manager and you will need his or her agreement to any changes.
‘Ideally, you will speak to your boss about this idea first, and agree on a strategy to make it happen. Be prepared to give your boss time to think it through and come back to you with suggestions,’ says Ruth.
‘Your manager will want to know what will happen to your current role, will you keep some of your tasks, share them out amongst the team, or will a replacement need to be hired?
‘What is an exciting new role for you may seem a problem to your boss. Think through any likely objections and come up with solutions where possible.’
Be prepared to compete for the position
In terms of transparency and equal opportunity, some organisations will insist on filling any new role through internal competition. Don’t let this stop you, even if you don’t agree with it, says Ruth.
‘Treat the application with the same seriousness as you would approach any external job application.
‘Don’t assume that because the role was your idea, your employer will favour you or you’ll have an easy ride. You must show that you are the best candidate, on paper and at interview.
‘Because you have done all the initial thinking, talking and convincing, you know how to position yourself strongly. So your chances should be high to land the post.’