Tips for Engineers Transferring to Anther Department

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Many EE, ME and CE grads eagerly accept their first job to start paying back college loans, buy a new car, and upgrade their pauper lifestyle to professional status. But after a few years, they often get the itch to try something new.

When the urge hits, you should exercise caution when you ask to be transferred to another department. If you feel you've reached the top in your present setting or you simply want to expand your experience and knowledge, there are a few things you should know.

First, supervisors often resist these transfers, fearing the loss of a valuable, experienced member of their team. They don't want to start all over, training a new guy in the details and procedures unique to their department.

So before you ask to be transferred to another department, realize that a refusal may be based on your supervisor's need to keep you. You should also carefully evaluate all the personal consequences of a transfer--uprooting to a new location (if it's out of the city or state), relocation allowance, company car, and other perks or sacrifices.

Remember to put your request for transfer in writing and be specific about your reasons for the transfer—"gain lab experience in the test or R&D department." If you plan on returning to your present department after a year or so, include that in your request.

When leaving a department permanently, don't criticize anyone—even to your closest co-workers at lunch. This kind of news can spread like wildfire and come back to haunt you.

Finally, follow your gut instincts. If, after you've evaluated all the upsides and downsides of a transfer, it doesn't feel right, stay put.

For some additional insights, watch "How to Write a Job Transfer Request"

For more information on Engineer jobs, check out:

Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.


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