Reasons to Make a Lateral Job Change

People traditionally talk about careers as a ladder, emphasizing each new role being a promotion to a new level. There are other ways to navigate your career though. Consider a hybrid of lateral moves and promotions.


Companies are trending towards flatter organizational structures which means the opportunities to move up are more limited. Making a lateral move could be just the right thing to broaden your skills and make you an even better candidate in the future.  

Taking on a new role could also give you a greater sense of personal satisfaction.

In this article, we’ll go over the advantages of lateral moves such as:

  • Building your network
  • Developing new skills
  • Increasing your marketability

Build Your Network

A lateral move exposes you to new people and positions, whether it’s within your current company or at a new one. This increases the size of your network which opens up additional potential for you.


Increasing the size of your network provides access to new people and opportunities. Your network is something that you can rely on throughout your career.


As you change positions and companies, your network will too. This may open up new roles in different companies where you will have a connection. You may find yourself recruited by someone in your network to join a new department or company.

Building your network may open up new roles in different companies where you will have a connection.

Develop New Skills

New roles provide a fantastic opportunity for professional development. You will have to employ different skills to deliver results in each role.


This also prepares you for more challenging roles in the future. Even using the same skills, but applying them in different settings helps to demonstrate how well developed those skills are.

Increase Your Marketability

Lateral job moves can increase your marketability by giving you more depth as a candidate.

Different positions demonstrate your versatility and adaptability.

You will have a broader set of experiences to draw from when you make lateral moves vs always staying in a position until you can win a promotion.

Each role you hold will provide at least some new and different challenges. By engaging with these challenges, you can demonstrate your versatility and adaptability which are highly sought after traits.

Does a lateral move make sense for you?