When to Make a Lateral Career Change


Many professionals have trouble knowing when and how to make a lateral career move. Young careerists, in particular, are often encouraged to stay in one place. We’re told to make our jobs into a wheelhouse before considering new opportunities. But, as this video illustrates, there’s more to career mobility than mastering a single position and making yourself indispensable to your boss. The benefits of learning new skills and gaining insight into the way each process works as a whole can be invaluable to your future. So, don’t be afraid to try out new responsibilities at work. A lateral career will show your organization that you enjoying working with new people and learning new procedures. This is the kind of initiative your boss will remember when it’s time to fill positions that do come with a prettier paycheck. And with all your lateral experience, you’ll be a better fit for the job, anyway.

Video Transcript

So, you have your eye on the boss-man’s corner office and the hefty pay package that comes along with it? Then maybe you should consider hopping cubicles and make a lateral career change now, to get ahead in the future. Here are the most compelling reasons to make a lateral career change:

To Learn New Skills: A study out of Northwestern University determined CEOs have a range of work experience and their success rates were most positively impacted by finance and operations knowledge. A lateral career change to learn new practical skills will help you be more rounded when you’re ready to move up.

Benefits: Health care, time off, and especially reimbursement for education will pay off in a happier life as well as a bump to your career. A statistical snapshot of leading CEOs from SpencerStuart reported 29% of S&P 500 CEOs have an MBA and another advanced degree. So get out and get educated on your employers dime.

You’re Unhappy: Feeling underappreciated is reported to be the main reason people quit their jobs – so if you are feeling less than motivated by your employer, maybe a quick painless lateral career change to a new company or team will kick start your passion again and get you refocused on promotion prizes.

Grow Your Network: Reports show 60% or more of new jobs come from networking, so making a lateral career change to build your network could easily help you find a better job through a new contact or co-worker later down the road.

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