What is Lateral Career Progression?

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Lateral career progression refers to the path of career advancement that involves transitioning to a different role or function within the same level of the organizational hierarchy. Unlike traditional vertical career progression, which involves climbing up the corporate ladder through promotions and advancements, lateral progression allows individuals to gain new skills, experiences, and perspectives by exploring different areas of the organization.

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, lateral career progression is becoming more popular as organizations look for innovative ways to develop and retain their talent. Here are some key benefits of lateral career progression and tips on how to successfully navigate this type of career path.

Benefits of Lateral Career Progression

Broadens Your Skillset and Knowledge

One of the biggest benefits of lateral career progression is that it allows you to gain a diverse range of skills and knowledge by working in different departments or functions. This can make you a more well-rounded professional, capable of tackling complex challenges and adapting to changing business needs.

For example, if you are a marketing professional who moves into a product management role, you’ll gain insights into product development, pricing, and customer research that can enhance your marketing skills. This can help you become a more effective marketer, capable of creating targeted campaigns that resonate with your target audience.

Increases Your Marketability

Lateral career progression can also make you more marketable to potential employers. By demonstrating your ability to work across different functions and departments, you can show that you have a diverse range of skills and experiences that can be applied to different roles and industries.

Enhances Your Network

Another benefit of lateral career progression is that it allows you to expand your professional network. By working with different teams and departments, you can build relationships with colleagues who have different skills, experiences, and perspectives. This can help you gain new insights into your industry, learn about new job opportunities, and develop new mentorship relationships.

Tips for Navigating Lateral Career Progression

Identify Your Goals

Before embarking on a lateral career move, it’s important to identify your career goals and what you hope to achieve by making the move. This can help you identify the right opportunities that align with your long-term career aspirations.

Build Your Skills

To successfully navigate lateral career progression, it’s important to continuously build your skills and knowledge. Take advantage of training and development programs offered by your organization, attend industry conferences and events, and seek out mentorship opportunities to learn from colleagues who have more experience in your target area.

Communicate Your Intentions

It’s important to communicate your intentions and career goals with your manager and colleagues. This can help you identify opportunities for lateral moves and make sure that you’re aligned with your organization’s strategic priorities.

Be Flexible and Adaptable

Lateral career progression can sometimes require you to step outside of your comfort zone and take on new responsibilities. It’s important to be flexible and adaptable in these situations and to embrace new challenges as opportunities for growth and development.

Emphasize Your Transferable Skills

When applying for new roles, it’s important to emphasize your transferable skills and how they can be applied to different roles and functions. This can help you stand out as a candidate and show potential employers that you’re capable of taking on new challenges.

Lateral career progression can be a valuable way to gain new skills, experiences, and perspectives within an organization. By taking a strategic approach and building your skills, communicating your intentions, and being flexible and adaptable, you can successfully navigate this type of career path and achieve your long-term career goals.

About EG Workforce Solutions

We’ve been in this business for decades and have developed a deep network of professional connections. Whether they’re companies looking for talent, job seekers looking for work, or an up-and-coming store in need of some temporary help, we know the right people to bridge the gap between the hiring and the hired.

But what’s more, we get to know people. From employers hiring to candidates looking, we take the time to listen and learn. We hear your likes, talents, and needs. We gain an understanding, and with it, we’re able to facilitate lasting relationships between businesses and people.

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