7 reasons a lateral move could be a good move

By Chelsea Flynn, Recruitment Manager, UK

There’s a misconception that if you accept a new role with the same job title in a new company that this would not be beneficial to your career, but this is not always the case! Here’s why:

1. Different responsibilities – the responsibilities required to undertake a position in one company might be greater/less for a person undertaking the role elsewhere. Depending on whether you want the empowerment of taking on a challenge such as becoming a subject matter expert or working in a smaller team or whether you want a less stressful role, your duties and priorities might be different in another company

2. Exposure to a new industry – It’s common for people to make a lateral move in order to gain exposure to an industry they have never worked in before. It is never an easy path to be able to move into a completely new field without having gained experience either from the ground up or at the same level as you’re in now so showing flexibility can be highly beneficial to getting your foot in the door


3. Different organisational structures – these allow for you to pinpoint the best working environment for you. Do you prefer working in a flat structure where there are no walls, where the Managing Director is sat in the open plan office with you allowing for open, casual discussions? Or do you prefer a structure that is more formal and layered? Where you have the opportunity to liaise with Managers and Senior Managers, working closely with them rather than dealing straight with the top?

4. Opportunity to experience a new culture – the culture of an organisation will very much come from the people but it will also come from the values and mission of the company. If the working environment and culture in your current role is not as forward-thinking or positive as you would like, perhaps a move elsewhere could provide you with that

5. New people – Following on from culture, new people in a new workplace can allow you to broaden your professional network, work as part of a different team. Learn from the skills of new leaders, new colleagues. If you’ve worked for the same company for the past 15 years it is likely you have seen people come and go but is your professional network really benefiting? 

6. International exposure – Working in the same level of role in a smaller company as opposed to a larger or global company can offer an entirely different experience. Working across multi-jurisdictions and having the opportunity to travel can be a big selling point for many to make a lateral move, or for others a smaller, boutique organisation in which a better work life balance is sought after is the right move

7. Other benefits/Incentives – For many, when considering a move it isn’t just about receiving more money or a more complicated title, considerations such as professional development, health insurance, pension, bonus schemes and commission can all make a lateral move very appealing. 

So next time an opportunity comes your way that might on the surface just look to be a lateral move based on the job title, try and dig a little deeper to see what else the opportunity could offer you as it might be more than you think!