Life at PepsiCo

5 steps that can help you get to your next role

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Ready to change job roles or advance in your career? An expert weighs in on what your first moves should be—and how to have a meaningful conversation with your manager.

“I am ready for the next step in my career, but I don’t know where to start. How can I approach my manager about changing job roles?” Here, Louise Williams, a Senior Director of Talent Development, shares her knowledge on this top question for “Dear HR.”

When it comes to your career, you should feel in control. And while your career development starts with you, I often remind people that you also need the support of your manager to truly thrive.

This means creating the time and space for honest conversations about your career. Talk about your talents and aspirations with openness and authenticity, and you’ll help your manager see how to best support your growth.

If you’re feeling ready for a role change or your next career step, then it’s time to schedule a one-on-one with your manager to talk about it. The following steps can help you prepare, have a meaningful conversation and then plan for the next actions you should take.

Before your conversation with your manager

Step 1: Think about what you want

Reflect on your career goals and interests. Write down some notes and ideas to inspire you, and bring those notes to the conversation.

There are questions you can ask yourself to help with this step:

  • What are you good at?
  • What do you enjoy—and not enjoy—doing?
  • Where do you want to end up?
  • What skills will you need? And how will you develop them?
  • What does success look like to you?

Use your answers as a guide for when you speak with your manager.

Step 2: Do some research and networking

When you’re thinking about changing job roles or taking the next step in your career, it often helps to research potential opportunities. Write down some that interest you so your manager can help you talk through what’s possible and the next steps you could take.

Setting up one-on-one meetings with colleagues from different teams or roles you’re interested in can help you figure out what kind of roles are right for you, as well as how to navigate the organizational landscape. A great question to ask your manager is, “Given my goals and interests, are there specific people you recommend I get to know?”

Also take time to use any tools your organization provides that can help you explore other jobs.

There are many different ways you can be successful, and there’s not just one path. The more that people can see that, the less likely you are to say, ‘I fit in this box only.’

Becky Schmitt

PepsiCo Chief Human Resources Officer

Step 3: Mentally prepare yourself for feedback

It’s important to voice your feelings and ideas about what your manager can do to help you reach your next step—but it’s also important to have a growth mindset and stay curious about areas where you can improve.

Feedback can help you grow, so be open to receiving constructive criticism from your manager or from others you may talk to as you research potential opportunities. When you receive feedback, it’s important to take time to digest it and connect it to your past experiences.

Remember: Any feedback you receive does not take away from your strengths. Discussing feedback shouldn’t only be about areas where you can improve—it should also reinforce what you’re great at and give you the encouragement you need to keep going.

During the conversation with your manager

Step 4: Share your goals and aspirations

Schedule time to meet one-on-one and make the intention of the meeting clear. That way you can stay focused on your career and your goals.

Use the information you gathered in steps 1 through 3 to help guide your conversation. Talk about your aspirations and what you need to do to achieve them. Then ask for your manager’s own thoughts about your career, based on your strengths and experiences. You just might get some unexpected insights.

Be sure you’re using any tools provided by your company for this conversation, too.

After the conversation with your manager

Step 5: Come up with a plan

After your meeting, come up with an actionable plan that can help you move toward that next step. Work on it with your manager and share it with your mentors and peers so they can advocate for you. Bringing others along on your career journey can mean more support, accountability and bridges to new opportunities.

Everyone’s situation is different. When you have a conversation with your manager about changing job roles, the change could happen fast, or it may take time and patience. But regardless of how quickly it happens, change is a natural part of career progression—and your manager will appreciate your proactive and thoughtful approach to it.

So go take that first step—and good luck with your conversation!

Did you know

At PepsiCo, you can discover a world of possibilities. From innovative projects to dynamic teams, explore opportunities that fuel your passion. VIEW OPENINGS