On her resume, it looked like a step down the career ladder but after less than a year in the role, she had gained recognition as a high-potential emerging leader. Having long felt like a golden bullet that just needed to be aimed in the right direction, she now feels that this series of lateral moves has pointed her inthe right long-term career trajectory. Climbing the ladder is the traditional model for career growth, taking a single pathway upward through the corporate hierarchy.
There is more than one method for building a career, and moving up the ladder is not the only way to move your career forward. Which of these paradigms fits best for you at this phase in your career?
You’ll know you’re ready for a ladder move when you’re capably performing your current role, are happy with your current company and are ready to step up to more responsibility and leadership. But a lattice move might be worth considering if you want to network, gain skills, alter your long-term trajectory or if you’re bored and ready for a new intellectual challenge.
You love your work, but you don’t love your boss. If your boss is putting a lid on your career development, don’t stay too long. You’ll do much better with a boss that’s supportive. The same goes for working in a toxic team culture or for a company that doesn’t value its employees.
Your job leads into a career dead-end. If you’re on a path with limited opportunities to grow, consider a sideways move into an area with more potential for future advancement (and make your move sooner rather than later, or risk career paralysis). The same goes for when you’re working for a business that is stagnating. Ultimately, your career will too, unless you jump ship. Read more…