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Why A Lateral Career Move Could Be The Right Move?

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​Could a lateral move be the right move for you?

Something I hear a lot when talking to candidates about opportunities is that they are not interested in a lateral move.  Lateral literally means sideways so I can understand why a lot of people think a lateral career move is not the smartest.  But let’s examine a bit more and I will try to explain how a lateral move can be the right move.

Success and our careers are rarely linear, sometimes we take a step back, or sideways and this is exactly what we need to propel us forwards.  Sometimes we can stagnate in our current role and a move to another company is just the refresh we need to gain the momentum to move forwards.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

Sure, I can understand the logic that moving from a Corporate team as a Senior Associate to another Corporate team as a Senior Associate may not seem like it is of great benefit to your career.  But it is quite rare to always move for a promotion, employers want a proven entity, and sometimes you need to prove yourself before they will offer you that next step of Partnership or leadership.

Just by making the move, there are a lot of skills and benefits that could be exactly what you need to reach that next rung of the ladder in that company or even another.  Gone are the days where people stay in the same job for twenty to thirty years plus and you are seen as more marketable if you have some varying experience.

I myself worked in a large global agency and then a mid-sized National agency before making the move to set up my own business and have taken the varying skills I learned at both to hone and perfect my own skills.  I would be a vastly different recruiter if I had only had the one experience of recruitment.

So, what are some of the key benefits of a lateral move?

New environment

The old saying a change is as good as a rest really is true, sometimes just by simply changing our environment we can regain motivation and realign our goals.  It could be that you are working insane hours in your current role and the new firm you are leaving the office at 5pm, this will make a huge difference to your life both in and outside of work.  The culture is likely to be completely different, purely by the different mix of people and this can be a real positive.

New Team and Leadership

Working with a new team and manager, who will invariably have different ways of doing things will help you to hone your skills.  You will learn new ways of working and may be able to teach them different ways of working, it is a win win for everyone. 

New clients

Whilst you may be working the same job title and similar type of work, the clients are likely to be totally new.  This gives you a chance to broaden your network, build some new relationships and perhaps even work in different sectors.  So yes, same job title but totally different work.

New Skills, Systems and Ways of Working

Every company and manager has different ways of working, different systems and processes and you may learn better or smarter ways of working.  No doubt you will be able to combine all your learnings and come up with your best way of working.

So, do not be afraid of a lateral move and how that may look on your CV, instead be open to opportunities, meet with some other companies before making the decision that a lateral move is not right for you.  It could be exactly what you need.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” —Abraham Lincoln

Get in touch for a confidential conversation to figure out your next right move 021740993