It is common to expect job changes to involve a promotion and a raise. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, a lateral move, a job change to another employer with a similar level of responsibility and pay, makes sense. In fact, this is often a great way to ignite your career. Think of it as repositioning yourself for making that leap to the next level.
A sideways move might be the best way to get ahead. Here’s how:
- Gain new skills
Often, a new job at the same level will expose you to new skills and challenges. It is important to continually expand your skillset. Sometimes the only way to get exposure to new skills and challenges is to make a lateral move. Build up the skills that will make you more marketable for the promotion you seek.
- Exposure to more opportunities
When your current company has no openings at the next level, a lateral move to a bigger company may be in order. A larger company may have more growth opportunities. This does not mean that you take a new job and immediately start angling for a promotion. Plan to dig in and make meaningful contributions, the rest will follow.
- Build your network
Colleagues and managers are some of the most valuable professional connections you have. They know you as a person and can vouch for your work ethic and professionalism. A lateral move will help you expand this network. Each new connection can help you achieve greater career growth and success.
- Avoid burnout
A lateral move can be a great way to rekindle your career engagement. If you feel things getting repetitive and uninspiring, you may be on your way to burnout. A change might be just what you need to keep yourself believing in the magic of your career.
Sideways can be the right way to get where you want to be. A smart, well thought out lateral move will give you the skills, opportunities, and network that you need to position yourself for that leap to the next level.
Kathy Lin, Marketing Communications Manager
Kathy writes content for Tal Healthcare, a healthcare career website. She has a background in recruiting, sales, and teaching. She holds a BA in Biology from the University of Vermont. When she isn’t writing you can find her outside running, skiing or biking.