Move laterally to move up?

Move_laterallyQ: If I accept the lateral move, my colleagues will see it as a step back not a step forward.  Am I making a mistake?

A:  You are only making a mistake if the offer is not moving you toward your career goal.  A lateral move can be a great way to get new experiences, have more visibility and expand your portfolio of clients, products, and services. Before considering how your colleagues feel, be secure in your decision by answering the following critical questions:

  • What are the specific skills, knowledge, and competencies that this opportunity will provide?
  • Will this opportunity take you off the promotion track or enhance your promotability?
  • Will you be better positioned for the future?
  • Will this lateral position move you toward your goal?

The answers to these questions are essential to effectively steer your career and avoid getting derailed.

Now, for your colleagues:  Develop a compelling elevator pitch that succinctly communicates the benefit of this lateral move and the excitement, passion, and energy that underlie your decision.  Don’t skip this step!  You are moving laterally and will soon move up—keep friends informed and always nurture your network.

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