Several years ago, I made a pretty major career shift. I had been on an upward career track – each move promoted up a level and taking on more, steadily moving up the ladder. But I found, the higher I rose within my team, the less I was learning. Even for the roles I hadn’t tried in our team, I felt I knew enough to take it on and easily be successful.
Although my reputation was solid, my peers respected me, and my stakeholders were happy, I was feeling stagnant and my work felt like “been there, done that.”
It was time for a change, it was time to grow – and this time it wasn’t to move UP, it was time to move OVER. I took a lateral role completely outside of my comfort zone. It was a shift in direction but more aligned with my passions and talents. Making this decision wasn’t easy but it was the best thing I could have done.
Here are 3 reasons why you need to move your career direction OVER, not UP, following a career lattice, not a ladder:
- You will learn. You never know what’s out there unless you make change. Getting exposure to a new area helps you become a more well-rounded individual with greater, more strategic perspective, which makes you a stronger decision-maker.
- You expand your network. You will need to work hard to rebuild your reputation in a new area but this is a great opportunity to meet new people and grow your network.
- You expand your horizons. Taking this role opened up an entirely new career direction for me, more aligned to my career aspirations. Moving laterally helps you learn more about yourself – your passions, and your talents.
Have you made a move to embrace the lattice and get off the ladder? What did you learn?