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Upwards & sideways – do both count?

How is your career panning out these days? Are you currently where you want to be? Are you living up to your own expectations? We have a tendency, understandably, to plan our careers in an upward trajectory, however if things don’t quite go to plan, naturally it can be disappointing. 

When you think about it though, upwards isn’t always necessarily the only way to go - there is an alternative route.

How about sideways for a change?

Success is more commonly perceived as rising to the top in a relatively straight line as opposed to a zig-zagging route which, in fact, is likely to broaden your experience and skills, making you more marketable when the time comes to go upward. For some, an impressive, more senior new title and a bulkier wage packet are the essential carrots required to be dangling before contemplating any change.

However, here are a few reasons why a lateral move might work for you:

  • A new line manager - experience a different style of leadership
  • Opportunity to work with a new team – get to know new faces 
  • Potential to receive more training/education - expand your knowledge/learn new skills
  • A new challenge/change of scene – beat the burn-out and reignite your motivation levels
  • Build a larger network of contacts – who knows what opportunities may arise
  • Job security – a new department may provide greater prospects in difficult economic times
  • Work/life balance – a new role minus the increase in responsibilities and demand on your personal time
  • Raise your value – gain different perspectives, skills and knowledge for subsequent roles

Why not increase your capacity to contribute to your firm by stepping across different spaces. Then, further down the line you can step into a more senior role with more experience? 

Sir Dominic Cadbury is famously quoted with his thoughts on the topic: 'There is no such thing as a career path. It is like crazy paving and you have to lay it yourself'.

Are you stuck in a rut? Are you feeling frustrated at a lack of potential opportunities within your sights?  Take some time out today and reflect on the positive effects an ‘alternative’ career move might provide for you.

Posted on Thu, April 09, 2015 in Coaching General Organisational Development Personal Development
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