10 Reasons a Lateral Career Move Would Pay Off

By Chelsea Babin

A lot of people wait until they’re ready for a promotion or a more advanced job opportunity to make a career move, but that isn’t always the best course of action. Lateral career movies can often be beneficial to your overall career success. Here are 10 reasons why a lateral career move would pay off.

1. Company’s Mission Aligns with Your Values: If you’re working for a company whose mission doesn’t drive or inspire you and you know another company’s would, a lateral career move might be a great idea! You can get your foot in the door at a company whose mission aligns with your values and then try to get promoted from within at that organization when you’re ready for career advancement.

2. Similar Work, Different Department: Maybe you like the work you’re doing in general, but you’re not thrilled by the specific projects you work on or the department you’re a part of. If there’s an opening for a position similar to yours in a different, more interesting department making that lateral move could really help you out! Increasing your interest in the work you do can help you be more productive and happy.

3. Better Company Culture Fit: Some companies have an old-school cubicle set up with clear rungs and hoops to jump through while others have a more open, collaborative feel. Some company cultures encourage work-life balance and others focus more on training opportunities. Finding the right company culture fit can be difficult during the interview process and, if you end up in a company culture that doesn’t suit you, making a lateral move to a company whose culture better aligns with your preferences will be beneficial.

4. Increased Training Opportunities: A lot of people underestimate the value of training opportunities and the lasting, positive effect they can have on their careers. If you want to make a lateral move to a company that offers more training opportunities you’ll be making a smart move for your career!

5. Moving to a Company that Promotes From Within: If you’re in a dead end job with no upward movement in sight or you’re working for a company that doesn’t promote from within, it may be difficult to get to where you’d like to be in your career. Consider making a lateral move to a company that promotes from within. You can put in a few more years (or less) at your current level and then move up the rungs of the career ladder more easily.

6. Improved Work-life Balance: If you’re always on call, never leaving the office before the sun sets, frequently eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at your desk, and discouraged from taking any PTO the company offers, you may be in desperate need of an improved work-life balance. Making a lateral move to improve your work-life balance can keep you from burning out and will be better for your overall wellness and satisfaction at work.

7. Significantly Shorter Commute: Commuting for over an hour each way can take a toll on your car, your body, and your mind. If you want to make a lateral move that will significantly shorten your commute, do it!

8. Significant Compensation Increase: Lateral moves don’t often come with a significant compensation increase. However, if you’re working for a company that’s underpaying you or you’re considering a lateral move to a company that offers profit sharing, bonuses, stock options, a 401k with a generous match, and other forms of compensation it would be well worth the compensation increase, as long as the job still aligns with your career path and the company’s values align with your own.

9. Challenging and Exciting Workload: Doing the same, boring tasks each day can take a toll and make you far less enthusiastic about your career in general. If you find the opportunity to make a lateral move to a company with a more challenging and exciting daily workload, you may reinvigorate your passion and be a lot happier at work every day.

10. Escape From a Toxic Boss: As the saying goes, employees don’t quit companies, they quit bosses. If you find yourself under the management of a particularly toxic boss, a lateral move may be the easiest and most efficient way to escape from that negative situation.

Everyone is eager to search for a new job when they’re focused on career advancement, but fewer people take the time to look for a lateral move. If any of these 10 scenarios apply to your situation, a lateral career move would pay off.

 

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