Keeping an internal job offer alive

Professional Development Series



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Keeping an internal job offer alive

It’s usually bad news when your job offer is put on hold. Sometimes the offer disappears. So what strategies can you employ to make sure you keep that offer alive even if the employer has to suspend plans for bringing you on board?

Today we are talking about our careers and things we can do to keep moving forward.  Steve and I were talking about when people are pushing their careers forward; and find themselves applying for positions and then waiting; applying and waiting; almost an unending cycle.  Sometimes the jobs can go ahead, placed on hold, temporary hiring freeze, or reorganization issues that suspend our momentum.  What are some of the things we can do to stay on the short list or field of vision?


One important acknowledgement is that others will not be as diligent about your career as you.  You are totally responsible for your own career and professional path.  Others can be helpful; but you have to drive that bus.  Some things you can do to increase your chances are:

Especially in these economic times, hiring managers, HR and recruiters have hundreds of applicants and resumes in front of them every day.  It’s unlikely that your resume will continually stand-out as time goes by, without some effort on your side.

Some things to try with internal job postings:

People do business with folks they like, know and trust.

  • Be proactive in staying on their radar
  • Recognize that others are not responsible for your career.
  • Schedule monthly lunch dates, phone call, email an article that they (the recruiting department or team) may be interested in, or an update on one of your current projects that they are interested in.  This level of “touching-base” doesn’t have to be frequent or elaborate.  Just something to remind them that you are still out there and are interested in working with them in the future.
  • Add them to your regular professional network and stay on-top of what their department is doing.
  • Make friends and build relationships with the other team members of that group or project area.
  • Invite and escort them to any speaking engagements, seminars or professional association gathering that they might be interested in attending.  By attending the event with them, gives you additional relationship-building time.
  • Clarify the essence of what you are looking for – versus a specific ‘job title’.  Many positions share transferable skills, projects, high-profile results, functions and environments – but they may not have the same ‘job title’.  For instance, a Project Manager, Program Manager and Operational Manager all provide essentially the same functions – but at different scope and level.  Usability Lead, Customer Advocacy Agent, Quality Assurance and Beta Program lead all provide similar functions – but in departments.  You may find an equivalent match in a different area under a different job title.
  • Be open to creating your own position.  If you know want to stay in development but want more hands-on with clients – pitch your own position as a Technical Support Designer that works with high-profile clients to create one-off utilities that are specifically customizes to fit their needs.  Once that client is satisfied – you program manage how to safely implement it into the regular maintenance stream.  This single position combines: Tech Support, Business Requirement Design, Change Management and Program Management skill sets.

Continually demonstrate your worth and value to the company and department

  • The fact that they had to place their hiring on hold because of budget or organizational issues; doesn’t negate their need for resources and help.  It only suspended the “HOW”, not the “WHY” or reason for hiring.  Let them know that you realize that they are currently understaffed and offer assistance (especially in the area or position that you are interested).
  • Keep them updated on what you are working on to see if they can re-use or share your code/libraries with them.
  • Offer to facilitate any code review meetings or document results of those meetings for them – as a way to help them with the tedious documentation compliance aspects of design and development (while at the same time getting the birds-eye view of how they internally work).
  • Facilitate Brown Bag Lunch learning series on topics they are interested in and continually invite them (especially in the area or position that you are interested).

Use this time to become the perfect match

  • Use this time to fill in your skills gap. For instance, if your top competitor for this position has better presentation skills or marketing/sells savvy – use this time to join, or some relevant professional organization.  Start networking to bring in potential new clients and sales leads.
  • Report your achievements in those gap areas, such that they see your commitment to continuous improvement.






Learning your way. Just a reminder that our IT Professional Development Toolkit combines four learning medias into one powerful set of strategy, insight, and actionable ideas so you can get momentum in career today. We have a knack for taking big ideas and converting them into smart, sound, and actionable ideas. We have practice scenarios in real-world, real-life working environments to inspire the required change in you and those surrounding you.


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