On the seventh entry of Tristan’s Tips, our special guest Tristan Layfield talks about lateral moves and debunks some common misconceptions around them. He explains how they can be a great way to expand your skill set, diversify your knowledge of the business, and help you make a name across your organization.
Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate fam? It’s Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting, and I’ve teamed up with Living Corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. This week, let’s have a discussion around lateral moves. Just to make sure we’re on the same page, a lateral move is where you take a job that is on the same level or in the same band as the role you’re currently in. These typically take place within the same company, but that’s not always the case. Most people cringe at the thought of lateral moves because there are some pretty big misconceptions out there about them, so join me while we debunk a few of them. So the first one is “I’m not advancing my career.” Well, actually, lateral moves give you a greater exposure to the business and therefore more marketability down the road. Gaining an understanding of multiple areas of the company makes you better-suited for executive roles. The next myth is “I have to start all over.” So OK, while that is true–your immediate work circle will change–you have an existing network from your old role. Utilize those networking skills to have them introduce you to connects in your new world. Now, the third myth is “I’m going to be making the same amount of money.” Now, this isn’t 100% inaccurate. You know, lateral moves typically equal the same level, which equals similar pay, but make sure you do your Googles. Sometimes the market value of your new role is higher than your old role. If that’s the case, you can use it to negotiate a bump in salary. The next misconception is “This won’t be challenging.” In theory, moving laterally means the jobs will have some similar aspects, but many times the responsibilities can change drastically. Maybe you’re moving from having no direct reports to managing people, or maybe you’ll get some larger or more visible projects. I know no one wants to start something new only to feel like they’ve ended up in the same spot, but I’m telling you, lateral moves can be a great way to expand your skill set, diversify your knowledge of the business, and help you make a name across your organization. This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.