Lateral Moves: Do you really have to leave your job?

Looking for a new job is a typical reaction when you acknowledge your unhappiness with your current role. In these difficult times where competition is high, you may want to ask yourself “Is this what I really want?” What if there was a way to move forward without leaving behind job security and embarking on a stressful job search? Lateral Moves shows you how this may work for you.

Keeping your career advancement within the confines of your current employer isn’t such a bad idea, particularly if you like the job, but find your work colleagues or manager unbearable, or if you like the culture but not your specific job. Both of these things can be changed and it would be a shame to give away the security of a job and your accrued benefits on the strengths of a personality clash with someone who may end up leaving the company soon after you go!

Of course you need to come to terms first with what it is you like and dislike about your job, the people and the company. As long as the issues aren’t deal-breakers such as workplace bullying, the company’s looming financial collapse, a repressive culture, or an industry you just plain don’t like, then it may be worth investing in your future with your current company and removing yourself away from the deadbeat team mates or the inadequate manager and steam on forward with your own career.


The word “intrapreneur” is based on “entrepreneur”. Just like an entrepreneur starting his or her own business, intrapreneurs observe opportunities and gaps in the workplace that can be leveraged. The intrapreneur sees what is wrong, works out what he or she can do to fix the problems, and then sells these ideas to people of influence. In that way, you are altering your own job description a bit at a time to incorporate something that gives you satisfaction and adds value to your employer.

Ask yourself:

  • What is everyone complaining about most here?
  • What can I do to fix the problem or ease the issue?
  • Who is an open-minded mentor in this company who will listen to my ideas?
  • What can I do to make sure i can take ownership of my idea and see it through?
  • What talents do I have to contribute to implementing these changes?


Going up the Ladder

Make an appointment to speak with your human resources department to discuss your career. They may be very supportive of your ambitions and dreams and now that you have made them known, they may be able to place you in a program for advancing within the company. On the downside, they may raise performance issues that have stopped you from moving within the company of which you are unaware. While this may seem daunting, take it as a positive. Information is power and with this knowledge you can now adjust your attitude or performance to show you are attempting to reform and grow.

Influence your manager on the importance of multiskilling to learn other people’s jobs. As you become more productive, you will also be considered somewhat indispensable as the only person who has a big picture view of the department or team. You will become the “go to” person which may then place you in a position to be considered for a team leadership, management or training role.

Observe the wording the vacancies used for higher positions. Find out about them. Understand what other people do. It will provide you with a direction post for what skills you are missing and what you need to do to acquire them to be a contender for the roles you want.

Keep your ear to the ground. Be political and know what’s happening. Don’t be the last to know. People who walk around in a dream, or alternatively are too busy complaining, miss out on tidbits of information. If that tidbit is someone considering leaving or about to hand in his or her notice, then it’s time to ramp up who you talk with and decide how you will position yourself for the soon-to-be vacant job.

Same Job, Different Place

Like the job but the people leave a bit to be desired? Like the job but the manager is hopeless? If you work for a state, national or international company, think about a transfer to another branch, department or division.

Take on Short-Term Assignments

Short-term roles can be a secondment to a different department or a special project. It can be a study grant, a job-sharing initiative or research. You could become a union representative, a fire warden, or a health and safety officer — all jobs that expose you to different levels of the company and different people than you would normally come into contact with.

Short-term assignments help by:

  • Offering opportunities to be seen in a new light
  • Enhancing your profile in the organisation and exposing you to new people
  • Developing new skills for upward mobility

Whatever You Do…
Don’t stand still! There comes a time when you need to stop complaining and start taking action! Think about what you want, lay the foundation for getting it and engage a positive attitude.



  1. Gayle Howard

    Updated my blog! Lateral Moves: Do you really have to leave your job?: Looking for a new job is a typical reacti…

  2. Daly @ ShadeSeed

    Trying a different branch of the company is a great idea. If you manage to do that, you will be able to track down the real problem with your job without losing it entirely. I wouldn’t think of it myself.


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About Gayle Howard

If you are interested in working with Gayle Howard—an executive resume writer, Certified Master Resume Writer, multi-award-winning resume writer, and Master LinkedIn profile writer, drop her a line now using the contact form at the link above. Gayle can help you get interviews for your dream job and bring the world of business to you by maximizing your exposure and connections on LinkedIn.