Changing jobs within a company  


Colleague 45649
New Colleague Registered
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2
January 14, 2019 5:18 pm  

I was recently lucky enough to move out of my postdoc into what is basically a medical writer position in a medical device company. I honestly love my team and the work that I do. I came from a regulatory postdoc at the FDA and enjoy doing reg work as there is a decent amount of strategy involved and the problems you solve are intellectually stimulating. 

I currently work in the clinical department at my company and have made an effort and succeeded in making a strong connection with our regulatory team (this was part of the reason why I was brought in). Recently however, a senior position in the regulatory affairs team opened up and I am very interested in it. The direct of reg affairs said she was very interested in having me and thinks I would be a good fit.

The problem is I have only been at this job for 4 months and it seems way too soon to make a move. As this is my first real foray into industry and my first job at this company, I don't want to step on any toes. My department director has encouraged me to pursue the position but he was also hired around the same time as me so he is relatively new. My immediate supervisor, who has been with the company for many years now, seemed to entertain the idea as long as I finished the work she brought me in to do (writing clinical evaluation reports for a handful of our products).

I'm just curious if anyone has more experience navigating these types of situations and could provide advice. I don't want to seem impatient but I am completing my current work very quickly and definitely can contribute more than what is currently required of me in my current role. I appreciate any input you all might have.

This topic was modified 5 months ago by Bio Careers

Dave Jensen
Prominent Maven Moderator
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 868
January 14, 2019 7:18 pm  

Hey New Colleague, thanks for your post here. We're still trying to get the Username thing de-bugged here so I would know better how to address you in the future. (Everyone should note how important it is here to put up a Signature in your profile).

From the sound of your post, you've laid the groundwork for a solid move in your present company. The most dangerous element of the move you've discussed is with your present supervisor. See if you can negotiate a way to ensure he/she is very satisfied with your commitment to get the work done. You don't want to leave anyone hanging on commitments you haven't fulfilled. 

Yes, it's a short time you've been there. Too short for a quick transfer to another department, BUT . . . this sounds like an unusual opportunity. So go around to everyone involved with hat in hand and ensure they know that this is of interest because it fits your long-term goals and you want NO ONE to ever be disappointed that you skipped out on a commitment. Good luck in the new role!


Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum

Dick Woodward
Reputable Colleague Registered
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 257
January 14, 2019 9:33 pm  

I agree with Dave. The fact that your department head is OK with the transition is critical. It sounds like you were initially brought in to complete a specific group of clinical evaluation reports. Perhaps it would be possible to negotiate the following:

  • You agree to finish the reports - perhaps as you start to segue into the new position in reg affairs.
  • Your direct supervisor - with the assistance of the supportive department head - looks for someone to fill your position.
  • Alternatively, there may not be a need to fill your position - if you were brought in to do a specific groups of tasks, it may well be that when you are finished with those tasks, they will have to figure out what to do with you - and you have just given them the answer!
  • If they do decide to replace you, offer to help them in the interview process - after all, you know the requirements of the position better than anyone.

It sounds like a great opportunity, and you are in a position to take advantage of it without ruffling feathers.

Good luck.


Honorable Maven Registered
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 557
January 15, 2019 5:44 pm  

Although you are new to the industry, this is the exact blueprint of how to make an internal move.  Having buy-in of your immediate supervisor, the hiring manager and your department head, the the recipe.   In cases with more tenured folks - ideally an IDP contents the areas of interest for future career advancement and has a process, which then can play into an internal move process as you described.  

Reconfirm all is good with your current boss and access next steps to formalize that move as Dick noted.

Good luck,


Colleague 45649
New Colleague Registered
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2
January 22, 2019 11:49 pm  

Thanks for the input all. Dick makes some good points and I will work with my immediate supervisor on determining what needs to be done in my role before I try to transition. It is good to hear that a move this early should be possible and encouraged. I will check back here to update the post once some movement on my end has occurred.