TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

Are Lateral Moves a Good Idea?

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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Sometimes a new job opportunity comes along, but instead of the promotion you’ve been thinking about, it’s a different job for similar pay. When faced with the decision of whether to make a lateral move, how do you decide which direction to go?

On one hand, a lateral move might earn you more experience, expand your network, and lead to bigger things. On the other hand, is it worth it to change jobs for similar pay?

Lateral moves may seem like a wash when it comes to salary, but there are other factors you should consider before choosing to stay put.

DOES THE MOVE PROVIDE NEW OPPORTUNITIES?
If you’ve been interested in working with a different department or if the lateral move offers extra chances to grow, it could be a great fit. Lateral moves may be the same salary, but they could open doors that weren’t as accessible before.

Whether that’s an education incentive, higher promotion potential, a set of fresh faces, or the chance to try something else without overhauling you career, a lateral move could be the right fit.

IS IT TIME FOR A NEW BOSS?
Being interested in a new boss doesn’t mean your current boss-employee relationship doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s great to learn from someone you haven’t worked with before, since every boss has something unique to offer.

If your potential new boss has a lot to offer as a mentor and you’ve learned as much as you can from this position, now might be the right time to switch.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Any change can involve some risk. When you move away from the day-to-day of what’s known, there is always a chance that something might not be a good fit. Evaluate the potential risks and find out how hard it would be to go back if things didn’t work out.

If everyone is on the same page about trying a new position to check the fit, there is less pressure and you won’t feel stuck.

ARE YOU BORED?
Now might not be the right moment for a promotion, but doesn’t mean you’re staying engaged with daily tasks that might have started to feel stale. A lateral move can provide more diverse incentives and challenges, allowing you to keep the stability of staying with the same company and retaining accrued benefits while trying something different.

If you’re not challenged in your current job and work is becoming repetitive, a lateral move might reignite the challenges that keep things interesting.

Lateral moves may seem the same when it comes to a paycheck, but they can offer lots of additional incentives. If you’re not feeling challenged, want to shake up your career without taking on too much risk, and are looking to broaden your contacts base or find a mentor, a lateral move may be the right way to go. Don’t be blinded by the bottom line—instead, focus on prioritizing long-term opportunity.

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