Q: "I would like to take a job in my company’s training department. Training is the big thing in our organization this year, and I want to be a part of it. The director of training has encouraged me to transfer, but my boss, who is the head of operations, does not like the idea.
"I am the operations manager for our largest office, so he doesn’t want to lose me. However, my staff is very knowledgeable and self-sufficient, so I’m sure they can handle my leaving. My boss can’t block this move, but I don’t want to leave with hard feelings. What should I do?" Ready for a Change
A: To avoid burning any bridges with your boss, make it clear that you are pursuing a valuable career opportunity, not trying to escape his organization. Even the most understanding manager can feel slightly betrayed when someone requests a transfer out.
Emphasize that this training position will allow you to learn new skills and tackle new challenges. You should also describe how your operational experience will benefit the company’s training effort.
For example: “As part of my career plan, I would like to spend time in a role where I can focus on developing and mentoring people. Also, my experience in operations has given me a real-world perspective that will help to make our training programs more practical and useful.”
Finally, assure your manager that you will strive to make your departure as painless as possible. Present him with a possible transition plan, and explain how any major issues can be handled by your experienced employees. If you can recommend one of them as your replacement, that might just seal the deal.
Communicating with managers can sometimes be tricky. Here are some useful things to talk about: Ten Helpful Things to Say to your Boss.