Making a lateral move to advance your career

Career paths are not always as linear as we hope, and ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ isn’t guaranteed to be a straightforward process. Sometimes it can be necessary to embrace the idea of taking a side-step (that is, taking a new job of similar status) in order to move into higher roles and challenge your skills in the future.

Even though you mightn’t experience the instant salary increase or title change you’ve been wishing for, a new role could make for a positive challenge and doors could open to new opportunities. We’ve highlighted some benefits of moving laterally in your career, even if you have a long-term goal of moving up!

Making a lateral move to advance your career

Build your network and impress new people

Do you feel as though you’re at a dead end in your current role or that your potential isn’t being realised? Whatever your pitfalls, becoming part of a new team not only allows you to connect, network like a champ and learn from new and inspiring people, it also can help you foster relationships that can be advantageous to your future career path. These new introductions could give you the opportunity to prove yourself and impress the people that can help make things happen in the long-term.

Improve your job security

It’s never easy when you feel instability at work, but if your department is under-performing or being downsized, it might be your ticket to a better opportunity. Making the move to another department could give you a chance to not only retain a position within your company, but also show your value in a new area.

Learn new skills and increase your marketability

Making a lateral move to a role in a different industry can be a good idea when career advancement is more easily achieved in your new chosen field. If you’ve been able to change positions with only a few relatable qualifications or skills under your belt, take the opportunity to kick-start your career trajectory by studying a course in your new industry and ensuring you have the skills to move your way up.

Facilitate a work/life balance with no additional responsibilities

Moving sideways in your career is a great solution if you’re seeking new challenges but you’re not yet ready to tackle more responsibilities or a managerial position. It can also be an important stepping stone if you still want to remain working in the same location, commute less, or if you want to spend more time with family or on personal passions.

Beat boredom and be challenged and interested by your work

Whether you’ve been in your current role for a couple of months or a couple of years, most people will find that, at some stage, the honeymoon period of employment will wear off. There are many ways to fall back in love with your career, one being moving into a new role, department or company. With fresh faces and new challenges ahead, it’s very likely you’ll feel both revitalised and excited about work, making you a stand-out employee and even more driven to get ahead.