How To Talk To Your Boss About Wanting To Transfer Offices

Are you looking for career development? To extend your network? To experience life someplace new? Little bit of all three? Whatever your reasons, you’ve decided you want to transfer offices. Good for you! Office transfers can give you a fresh start, increase your skill set, and advance your understanding of the field—all while maintaining the job security you’ve built in the company.

transfer offices

Now comes the tricky part: You have to talk to your boss to get the go ahead. It can be a difficult conversation to navigate; however, there are a few guiding principles that can help the conversation along. Here’s how to talk to your boss about wanting to transfer offices.

Do Your Research First

Before talking with your boss, research to see if your plan is feasible. Is there a company policy regarding office transfers? If so, what does it entail? Is there an open position at your desired office, and can you do that job? Not all employers provide relocation assistance. If your company doesn’t, do you have the finances, time, and energy to move or will you risk burn out?

If you’re looking at an international transfer, then there’s even more to research. You’ll need to consider international taxation, employment regulations, and immigration and labor laws. That’s just the legal side of things. You’ll also need to learn the culture and language well enough to function at your new position.

Set Up A Meeting

Don’t come into the office one day and blurt out you’d like a transfer. Instead, set up a one-on-one to discuss the matter—don’t try to add this as a supplemental item for the meeting to discuss the break room situation. Let your boss know what the meeting it about, so she can prepare for it.

The earlier you lay this groundwork, the earlier you and your boss can work toward the goal together. Your boss can keep an ear out for promising openings, and you’re free to ask questions and discuss matters periodically.

Have A Specific Location In Mind

Have a specific position and office location picked out—even better if they’re currently looking to fill said position. Transferring up in the company is great, but lateral moves have their advantages, too.

This may not always work out, but if you manage it, you’ll greatly help your chances as it makes for concrete planning.

Make A Mutually Beneficial Case

Don’t make the transfer all about your needs. Remember this transfer will cost the company time and money, so they’ll want to see a return on investment. Will your professional development improve your productivity? Will you bring veteran skills to a fledgling branch? Or perhaps a cross-pollination of ideas? Whatever the case, headline those benefits during the meeting.

With that said, you can certainly share your personal reasons for wanting a transfer. If you need to move for health concerns, that should be acknowledged. Likewise, professional development is a lofty goal and directly ties into your value as an employee. Of course, reasons like family matters can be very personal, so how much your share will depend greatly on the reason and your relationship with your boss.

The takeaway is that the transfer should be presented as mutually beneficial, not simply for your sake.

Have A Transition Plan

Don’t think you can just pack up and go. You’ll need to help smooth the transition process. Be prepared to continue doing your job as you ready for the move. You should also offer to help search for your replacement. If possible, find the time to visit the new location, introduce yourself to the team, and explore the area. Don’t forget to continue researching the local region and customs to make your introduction as seamless as possible, especially for an international transfer.

These guiding principles can’t guarantee that your transfer will go through, but they will help your chances. They’ll also ensure you put your best foot forward while talking with your boss, making a future transfer all the more likely.

Search for your next job now:


Back to listing

The Washington Post Jobs Newsletter

Subscribe to the latest news about DC's jobs market