You've been working hard and delivering for your organisation.

You hope to be offered a promotion, but instead a lateral move is put on the bargaining table.

Don't walk away just yet.

In spite of what you might believe, lateral moves can be good for your career. Here's why:

Broadened Skill Set

In larger organisations, a lateral move allows you to gain actual business unit experience, rather than just corporate experience.

The benefit: you get an operational perspective.

While this makes you more marketable in your current organisation, it can also make you attractive to recruiters and head hunters.

What does this mean? Even if there are no opportunities where you are now, making a lateral move might open the door to a higher pay grade elsewhere.


Moving laterally allows you to grow your network.

A lateral move offers you opportunities to excel in different groups, with different teams and bosses. And anytime you grow your network, you increase your chances of hearing about upcoming openings - a great thing for your career.

Protection from Downsizing

Increase your job security by making a lateral move. Sound counterintuitive? The more experience you have and the more people you know in your organisation, the greater your chances of staying with it if there's a downturn.

Change and Adapt

Lateral moves create growth. They force you to change and adapt. Whether it's new personnel, systems or different reporting timelines, making a lateral move causes you to continuously improve.

It's ingrained in our thinking that in order to succeed we must climb up, not sideways.

But sometimes it's a lateral move that opens the door to our next opportunity.


Relevant courses:

Organising Work and Time

Influencing and Persuading Skills

Understanding People and Conflict

Communicate Effectively

Assert Yourself and Build Confidence


Related blogs:

Creating leaders of tomorrow

Some do's and don'ts for being a great manager

Why technology professionals can benefit from coaching

How to be a successful Agile and remote worker

The importance of ongoing professional development for IT professionals

Network, network, network!

About the author

Jennie Marshall is an award winning learning professional (Winner of the 2016 Learning Performance Institute, Learning Professional of the Year Bronze Award), who joined QA in 2010 as a Learning Consultant in the Leadership, Management and Business Skills team. She has gone on to progress through various positions to her current role of Learning Programme Director where she now designs, develops and manages the delivery of end to end learning programmes. She is an experienced and dedicated learning professional, with expertise including management, leadership and talent, and training and facilitation developed within a variety of environments. Jennie has a proven track record of delivering blended, multi modal learning programmes using Learning Management System platforms and in a more traditional face to face setting, is at home with small and large audiences. She is a proven developer of people and is accredited in the use of a variety of tools including Strength Deployment Inventory®, Emergenetics®, Hogan®, Prism® and Worldsview™ as well as being an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Master Practitioner and Kirkpatrick Certified Professional (Bronze).

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