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Why a Good Career Move Isn’t Always About a Promotion…

Posted on Aug 22, 2017



A common request we hear day to day in our jobs as recruiters when speaking to candidates is that they are looking for a promotion or step up. Maybe from Junior to Senior or Senior to Manager and so on.

Sometimes this step up in title is well justified but sometimes, a “sideways” move is the better career option. So why should a candidate consider a sideways move?



A “Step Up” isn’t Always about Title…


One of the things we regularly speak to candidates about when approaching a move is the nature of the work they will encounter and how that might affect their larger career aspirations.

For example, if they are an Environmental Consultant with project experience in Petroleum but aspire to become a specialist in Transport Infrastructure, a move sideways will give them that project exposure they need to continue their upward climb.

In this case, they are still achieving a “step up” but it has nothing to do with title and everything to do with experience gained.

This means you may well be advised to stay at the same company or at least ask your current boss if there is the possibility of gaining your desired experience with an internal move. Otherwise, it will mean keeping the same title, pay etc but moving to a company willing to invest in you for this training.

A similar example might be moving to add mentoring duties to your role without the stress of being a full-time Manager. This sort of move is a great option if Management is where you want to be but you don’t yet have the experience to get there.



Give Yourself Time to Adjust


Moving to a new company can be a big change, especially if a person was at their previous company for a long period of time. There are new people, systems, ways of conducting business, cultures and more to learn – even without adding the pressure of extra responsibilities from stepping into a higher-level role.

Sometimes, it may be a good idea to jump across to a new company in your current capacity and then step up to a more Senior position later to give yourself time to acclimate without any added stress.



Limited Opportunities in your Workplace


Sometimes making a sideways move is a recognition that the potential for future development will just not be available within your current company. Maybe they are a small firm or they have people firmly entrenched within the positions you desire or they can’t create new opportunities at a higher level. Whatever the reason, a sideways move now, may secure your future career options.



Achieve Better Work / Life Balance


Sometimes a move isn’t about skills and experience at all but rather the search for a role more cohesive with your lifestyle goals. In a recent ALRA survey one of the top 5 reasons for looking for a new role was work / life balance, so there is definitely something in this.

Maybe you want less travel time in your day, more time with your kids, less overtime or just a place with a better internal culture – no matter the reason, don’t discount the impact this area can have on a sideways move.



You’re Suffering from Burnout or Boredom


What’s the expression – a change is as good as a holiday? Sometimes a sideways move within your company or to a new one is a good idea to help you fall back in love with your job. A move will always bring about new challenges and see you working with new people which could help to alleviate feelings of burnout or boredom.



We could keep going. There are many reasons that a sideways move might be a better option for your career at this time. There may be reasons why it isn’t too. Feel free to get in touch with the ALRA team by emailing or calling any of our team members on 1300 002 572 if you’d like to brainstorm the best options for your next career move.