A promotion isn’t the only way to change positions in your company—or in your career.
Kirsten Helvey at Cornerstone OnDemand outlines various influences that affect these types of career decisions. Working with Kelton, a leading global insights firm, Cornerstone OnDemand conducted an online survey of more than 2,000 full-time American employees across various industries. Their findings suggest that American employees want meaningful professional growth (purpose, engagement) and not necessarily a promotion or a bigger paycheck.
So, could employers be underestimating the power of lateral career moves for professional growth? It looks that way. One of the survey’s most surprising findings: People are willing to make lateral career moves into positions with similar titles and pay grades in different departments. And this feeling is shared across generations with the majority of both Baby Boomers and Gen Xers feeling this way.
“When asked why they would be willing to make a lateral career move, the most common answers were to find greater personal satisfaction (57%), to pursue an entirely new career path (41%), and to take up a professional challenge (40%).”
Additionally, most employees (66%) would rather make a lateral move at their current company rather than looking elsewhere. This could be because of the convenience (once an employee has already working somewhere for a while he or she already has a feel for the culture and the overall expectations). But it might also be a matter of loyalty. But that loyalty has its contingencies and conditions like, for example employees being loyal only to the extent that they find a position that offers more of what they’re looking for (i.e. personal satisfaction or opportunity for a challenge).
Helvey goes on to cite a LinkedIn survey, “Why and How People Change Jobs,” that revealed one in three people who recently changed jobs changed careers entirely. “They found that these career changers wanted to be challenged, found their old job a poor fit for their skills, and were curious to try out a new industry,” Helvey wrtites.
As it turns out, learning and growth are key motivators for employees. If you’re feeling stuck in a job rut, have you considered the lateral-move option? Take some time to asses the growth opportunities you’d like to experience in your career, and then clearly communicate those ideas to your employer. And remember: “Employee development not only helps with engaging and retaining top talent but also drives better bottom-line results,” says Helvey.