3 ways a sideways move can benefit your career

3 ways a sideways move can benefit your career
August 29, 2019 Todd Richardson

I often work with candidates stuck on the idea that their progression can only be sustained by stepping up in their next role.

The truth is, our career progression isn’t always vertical.

Sometimes, a sideways move can be just as beneficial in getting you where you want to go.

In this post I’ll discuss three reasons why.


You can further develop your skill set & experience

A lateral move might mean that your job title stays the same. But it doesn’t mean the project exposure and the responsibilities of your role will.

The complexity, type and size of projects you work on will change if you approach your next employment decision strategically.

Look for a position that, albeit the same job title, requires something different in the role to what you’re currently doing.

This can be anything from finding a company that completes different projects types, or ones larger in value.

All of these things make you more employable when you’re ready to take a step upwards.

They also help you to reduce the risk of pigeonholing yourself into a specific sector of the industry (unless specialisation is your goal).


A new company = opportunity for new mentorship

If you’re dealing with the same people for years, you’ll reach a point where you stop growing because those above you have already taught you all that they can.

A sideways step is a great way to expose yourself to develop your knowledge and skillset under new mentorship.

Everyone does things differently, even when doing the same job. So having more than one or two mentors in your career can be really beneficial.

More mentors will equal more advice and opinions to shape your working knowledge and views from.

This diversity of thought and opinion provides you with further expertise and therefore more choices when tackling a problem or approaching your work.


Join a business without a glass ceiling

Not every business you work in will be able to offer you the progression you seek.

Whether you’ve demonstrated the capability for it or not.

We’ve seen this often happen in businesses that have strong staff retention.

If the tenure of staff in the business is 10-15 years, it’s a stable employee environment, which is excellent from a cultural perspective. If you want a good, long-term environment – choose the business with strong retention.

But if you’re looking to grow, this can be stifling. With the lack of movement in senior/management roles stopping people from moving up the ranks.

A sideways move into a new business can open up scope for progression if you’ve hit a glass ceiling in your current company.

Look for builders who are about to experience growth (not the ones that have just experienced growth). Companies that have opened a new office in your region, are coming back from a downturn in work, or are in part of the construction market you believe is getting busy.

How do you identify this?

-Do your research;
-And ask lots of questions in the interview.


A step up in job title isn’t the only way to progress. At many points in our career, our progression will simply be about making a career move that allows us to grow and learn more.


For more advice from our team, or to chat to us about how we can help you to secure your next opportunity, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us through our Contact Us page or by emailing getstarted@constructionpeople.com.au.

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