Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Career Assessment » Lateral Moves: When Do They W ...
Lateral Moves: When Do They Work?

Lateral Moves: When Do They Work?

It seems "up or out" has been the watchword of corporate life forever. And yet, increasing numbers of people are finding that there's another way to move -- laterally. But why? What's in it for lateral movers and their organizations?

When Do Workers Benefit?

We all have an individualized career metabolism. That means when it's time for a change, it's time for a change -- regardless of whether a spot is available or your family is ready for upheaval. When you stay put in a job longer than your mind and body want you to, there's a hefty price to pay -- emotionally and often physically.

Here are some situations where a lateral move would be right:

  • You want more challenge but not more responsibility, because your plate is already too full with challenges outside of work.
  • Your spouse is being moved and your company has a facility in the same location.
  • You and your boss or a colleague have locked horns and there doesn't seem to be any way to set the situation right.
  • The functions your unit performs are being outsourced, but you don't want to leave the company.
  • You're taking courses or completing a degree and don't want the stress of a promotion at the moment.
  • You're preparing for an eventual move and want to spend some time in a functional area where you haven't had that much experience.
  • There's an opportunity to report to someone in another unit from whom you can learn a great deal.  

What's in It for the Company?

Lateral moves benefit companies in two ways. First, allowing such moves lets the company keep people with good track records after their work has become boring or monotonous. Second, it saves on the costs of finding and training new employees. It also lessens the likelihood of employees taking secrets to a competitor.

Lateral moves allow organizations to place personnel where they're needed. In an organization with few top slots available, these changes allow the company to give employees new challenges without promoting them. This solution offers an antidote to the "I'm-dead-ended-and-bored" lament heard so often in organizations today.

Shouldn't I Be Moving Up Instead of Over?

That depends. In organizations where the leadership emphasizes the importance of new challenges and ongoing skill development, it doesn't seem strange at all. In fact, lateral moves are welcomed as the energizing challenges they can be. In companies organized like a military hierarchy, such moves may not go down well. But then again, those places aren't doing well in a lot of ways these days.

Lateral moves work best in organizations where employees have access to flexibility and perks that give them a sense of career progression. Like all workplace innovations, lateral moves will succeed in places where both leaders and workers dedicate themselves to making what's good for the company coincide with what's good for its employees.

Saying no to "up or out" and asking for a lateral move because it fits with where you are in life may be a great way to start taking charge of your own career.

Latest Jobs

Capital Realty Group
Posted: 05/28/2015
Kansas City, MO, 64130
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Posted: 05/28/2015
Lexington, KY, 40502
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Posted: 05/28/2015
Charlotte, NC, 28201
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Posted: 05/28/2015
Laurel, MS, 39440
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Posted: 05/28/2015
Pikeville, KY, 41501

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-210