Rob Suchy


As technology plays a larger role in almost every business function, and the variety of systems continues to expand, IT professionals are no longer relegated to silos and the basement offices of yore. Now, they take active roles in larger teams, sometimes outside of the IT department, and often perform multiple functions.

Tech pro culture is also shifting. Not every worker aspires to be a manager, instead favoring a chance to get their hands dirty in new areas of IT. These changes have led to a phenomenon called crossboarding, where IT professionals are moved between different areas so they can engage with new challenges, often mimicking a lateral move.

As the trend begins to form deeper roots in the tech industry, you’re likely wondering how these shifts will affect your career. To help you answer that question, here’s what you need to know.

Adjusted Priorities and Goals

In many cases, tech pros that crossboard use many of the same hard skills they relied on in previous positions. But, when you change departments, your goals and priorities may need an update.

Each department serves a different role in the company as a whole. To be effective in your new job, you’ll need to learn what is important to them as well as increase your knowledge regarding their function and procedures. While this may sound complex, it doesn’t have to be. Often, by communicating with your new or future colleagues can provide you with a lot of insight into their operations. However, you’ll also want to educate yourself about the team’s work and learn the idiosyncrasies of the department.

Assumptions About Familiarity

If you make a seemingly lateral move within your current company, your new manager may assume you are more familiar with their department’s operations than you actually are. Unless you combat any preconceived notions about your knowledge, you may not be able to meet their expectations.

Generally, to resolve this issue, you’ll need to communicate with your manager regarding what you do know and what you still need to discover. You also want to identify key resources in the department that can help you get up to speed, including other employees, and create an update schedule with your boss so you can keep them apprised of your progress.

Then, focus on learning as much as you can so that you can perform your duties well. Solicit feedback from your manager and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you need additional information.

While it’s never easy to start a new job, actively working to integrate with your team, keeping the lines of communication open, and doing your own research can go a long way. In the end, crossboarding can offer you an opportunity to explore new areas, gain additional skills, and experience technologies you may otherwise have missed out on. So, enjoy your chance to explore as you familiarize yourself with the role, and consider it an opportunity to expand your horizons and craft a fulfilling career.

If you are interested in finding a new job, the professionals at Choice Technology Group can connect you with leading employers in the area. Contact us today to see what may be available to you.