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What Next, #intranet Manager?

More money? New colleagues? Change of scene? Change of manager? Whatever your reason for wanting a new role, you can be certain that your skills will be in demand. But with so many options open to you, what will your next career move be? In this post, we’ll look at the career paths open to intranet managers and ask you where you think you’ll head next.

New Geographies

You’re doing a fine job managing the intranet for the company in France, it’s time to spread your wings and stretch your linguistic abilities and manage the intranet in Germany too. This is a remarkably common next step for intranet managers: develop the job by adding new territories. Same role, broadly similar skills just over more employees.

New Internal Digital Technologies

As an expert in intranets, you’re perfectly placed to aggregate some new internal digital technologies to your job role. Smart, connected organisations will ensure that these other techs — such as digital signage — will be connected to your intranet, so much of the content will likely be familiar to you. Consider these other internal digital technologies. Could these come your way?

Go Large — Move to a bigger company

You’re a big fish in a small pond, so it’s time to change the size of the pond. Moving to a larger company, with larger budgets, bigger, more complex audiences is a very natural next step. However, it may not be all it’s cracked up to be. There are several thought-leaders who consider smaller intranets to be more innovative (maybe fewer people to say no to crackpot ideas?) so you may just find the bureaucracy stifling.

Add (or switch to) external digital

So you’re clearly an expert on internal digital communication, maybe now’s the time to diversify and add external digital communication to your job role. Whilst the audiences are vastly different in size and needs, the digital skills you’ve learnt in managing your intranet will be invaluable when it comes to managing your company’s customer-facing dot com or social media channels.

Specialise Still Further

Great intranet managers will have significant, valuable skills and experiences at their disposal. One career path opportunity is to specialise still further and look for opportunities in information architecture, user experience management or the specific content management system you’re using.

With the rise enterprise social networks, intranet managers may wish to specialise in internal and external social media, social communication and community management.

Drop the Digital

You can do internal digital communications, so maybe it’s the right time to switch to more an internal communication role that covers both on- and offline. Your skills could be particularly sought-after by firms which want to move more of their communications online; they’ll need someone who has a strong understanding of traditional offline  channels, but at the same time can be a strong advocate for digital and can help to shape online channels and processes.

Transfer the skills

It’s time for a big change. You’ve explored all the intranet, internal digital, external digital and specialist digital career paths available to you inside the company and out and you feel it’s time for a change. So what career paths are open to you now?

  • Business Transformation — Given the communication, collaboration and transactional nature of intranets, you probably have a very sharp understanding of how technology can make a difference to an employee’s efficiency. It’s also very probable that you understand people’s roles and the machinations of your business. I expect you could jot down five ways to improve the business right now?
  • Change Management — There’s no chance you’ve lead your intranet without having an appreciation of change management. Whether your organisation is in the ‘intranet as a project’ cycle, or more about continuous improvement, recognising the impact of your changes and working to smooth the transition are an important part of your current role — but could it be your future career?
  • Project Management — A former manager of mine likened intranet projects to plate spinning. The real trick is to keep all the plates up and if one really must fall, make sure it’s the cheap plate from IKEA that no one will notice. In the course of your current role, you’ve managed complex cross-functional legacy projects. Fancy more of the same?
  • Consultancy — Allow other organisations to leverage your learnt skills and experiences. We’ll spare blushes and not mention names, but there are countless intranet practitioners who are now consulting others
  • Outsource — How about managing other intranets on behalf of other companies?
  • IT — yea, slip over to the darkside! You’ll be able to able to provide important business insight!

Summary

The experience you’ve gained managing your company’s intranet will stand you in good stead as you embark on the next phase of your career. We hope some of the suggestions above provide food for thought. Let us know — what’s your next step?

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  1. @DigitalJonathan

    Thanks Lexi, I agree. An intranet managers role is excellent preparation for a broad range of digital roles. Personally, I think the intranet is far from dead — in fact, I think it’s only just starting to become appreciated — and I think the role of intranet manager has many more years ahead of it.


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