Why You Should Move Horizontally to Move Up in a Company

Big promotions are not the only way to move up the chain in your industry or organization. By taking jobs at the same pay grade and level of authority, you’re able to learn new skills that will benefit your career in the long run. Moving laterally can help your career advance in ways that you might not have considered.

One reason lateral movements are a good way to reach the upper echelon of an organization is the recession. Companies have changed their structures, and the opportunity to move up has been reduced significantly. The expected steps to the top have largely been eliminated.

Incorporate some sideways moves into your career development path. If you don’t plan ahead by considering lateral rotations as part of your career development plan, you may end up stuck on your current ladder rung indefinitely, unless you find a way to take a larger-than-usual step up. However, you aren’t likely to get that big step up unless you develop your skills in different positions at the same level.

By working in different departments and getting experience in different roles, you will gain the experience to put on your resume that can help you get the job you want. Expect your career path to take a few side roads that don’t necessarily lead to the top right away. Take your time, and get the experience you need to get the job you want.

The reality is different in today’s business world than it was in the past. Recognizing this and adapting your career strategy accordingly will make you a better job candidate.

Don’t think that you are not on the right path to a top job because you are not given the promotion you want right away. If your boss offers you the chance to cross train or to work in a different role, take it. Actively seek out such roles in outside organizations if you feel that you are not getting the chance to learn new skills within your current company.