Let’s face it: in the past, the term “lateral career move” has often been viewed in a negative light.
However, times have changed, and whereas that might have been the case once upon a time, new patterns of thought dictate that such moves can represent great opportunities.
That’s because, like most things in life, the path to career success is not a straight line. In fact, sometimes the quickest way to get where you want to go is to take “the road less traveled,” and that road can include a lateral move.
With all of that in mind, below are seven reasons why a lateral career move is still a great opportunity:
- You’ll learn more.
Sure, you might be pursuing professional development on your own, but a new employment situation brings with it new educational opportunities, even if the position is roughly the same as the one you held at your previous employer.
- Your new employer might bring with it a sharper vision for the future.For top employees and candidates, money and compensation are never the only considerations. A company might compensate you well, but perhaps it lacks vision and its management lacks the ability to lead effectively.
- You’ll have the chance to glean information from new co-workers.You can learn something from everybody, but if you’ve been at the same place for an extended period of time, surrounded by the same people, then perhaps that well is nearly dry.
- You’ll better position yourself for your next great career leap.You may have heard the phrase, “You can’t get there from here.” As we alluded to earlier, often the path to greater career fulfillment involves a series of calculated, strategic moves, much like the approach needed to win a game of chess. Lateral moves are part of that strategy.
- It will make you more marketable to other companies.If you’ve acquired new skills, a broader range of employment experiences, and greater levels of expertise, that can only help you in your quest to make your next great career leap.
- It will force you out of your comfort zone.Comfort is the first step toward complacency, and complacency can hurt your career far more than a lateral move. A new employer with a new boss, new co-workers, and a new culture will practically force you to grow . . . which is exactly what some people need.
- It could re-ignite your passion.Once out of your comfort zone, you could once again get in touch with the reasons you chose your profession in the first place. (If you’ve fallen out of touch, that is, which happens to quite a few people.)
Could a lateral move be your ticket to greater career growth and satisfaction? Don’t miss the possibilities . . . or you could miss out on the opportunities.