Evaluating the Advantages of Lateral and Vertical Career Transitions

Ensuring your career is headed in the right direction is often a priority. Many professionals have two main choices for making progress: a vertical career move or a lateral career transition. Often, each of these options has merit, so choosing between lateral or vertical options seems challenging. As a result, it’s wise to understand the benefits of various types of career transitions. Here’s what you need to know.

The Advantage of Lateral Career Transitions

Lateral career transitions involve shifting from your current position to another job with a similar level of responsibility or placement on an organizational chart, but that’s in a different niche. Usually, your new salary aligns with what you had previously or is only slightly more or less than your previous pay rate.

While that makes it seem like a lateral career move doesn’t provide many gains, that’s not the case. It’s a chance to realign your career with your passions and acquire new skills. It can also serve as a way to escape a dead-end career path or navigate around a supervisor that’s not supporting your career growth.

Lateral career transitions can also create opportunities to secure a position quickly with a new employer. Often, it’s easier to market yourself as a strong fit when the move is a similar job to what you held previously, so it could let you transition to an employer of choice with greater ease.

The Benefits of Vertical Career Transitions

Vertical career moves involve accepting a position that’s above your current one. Typically, this comes with elevated job responsibilities and higher pay. Plus, it could serve as a chance to boost your skills, particularly if you move up the organizational chart and take on new supervisory or leadership duties.

With a vertical career transition, the new job is particularly beneficial if you’re on a career path that aligns with your passion and there’s still room to grow over time. Essentially, it’s a step forward on the journey.

Vertical career moves can also help you shift to a new employer. While an internal promotion at your current company qualifies as this type of transition, so does finding a higher-level job with a different organization. As a result, it can also let you find an employer that offers more of what you’re after if your current company doesn’t tick every box.

Making the Career Move That’s Right for You

Both lateral and vertical career transitions are advantageous, but which is most beneficial to you depends on how you envision your progression. If you want to change into a different niche, a lateral career move is potentially the strongest option, as the transition is easier to achieve. If you enjoy your current career path, focus on vertical opportunities, as those keep you headed in the right direction.

If you’d like to learn more or are currently looking for a new job that can help make your professional goals a reality, The Squires Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.

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