How A Horizontal Career Shift Can Benefit You Just as Much as a Vertical


Careers are often compared to ladders, in the sense that progression is only measured by upward climbs. However, successful career paths can have slopes, dips, or even be completely level – and still get you where you eventually want to go. Learn more about how a horizontal career shift can benefit you just as much as a vertical.

Long-Term Marketability

A lateral career move can be an investment in your future if you think strategically. Even if a position doesn’t give you a boost in seniority from your previous role, it may get you the necessary experience so you can reach the next step to achieving your goals. For instance, a horizontal move may mean you get more varied projects or a larger team to manage. Also, taking a same level position at another company that prioritizes internal promotions can help you progress more quickly.

New Network Connections

In regards to career success, you’ve likely heard that it’s all about who know. While your qualifications are still the most important factor, having a personal referral can significantly boost your chances of at least getting your resume noticed by those with decision-making power. A horizontal career shift can be very beneficial because it can put you in contact with influential people and help you build your network for future professional opportunities.

Skills Acquisition

There’s more to a job than a prestigious title. A position in which you can learn new skills will enable you to build up your resume and make you even more competitive for your dream job down the road. Moving horizontally in terms of seniority can beef up your resume since the more you can expand your skill set, the more opportunities you’ll be qualified to apply for in the future.

Opportunity for Change

Whether you’re trying to change industries, specialties, or even your overall career, a horizontal career move is likely going to be necessary in order to establish a professional foundation. As long as you have a cohesive plan for how you want to utilize a lateral move as a platform for an upward progression in another area, it can work to your advantage – just be prepared to explain to hiring managers why you pursuing the new path.

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