Reasons to Make a Lateral Move When Changing Jobs

A lateral move is a shift from a position in one area of a company to an equal position in a different department, or at a company altogether. Making a lateral move when changing jobs can sometimes be easier than a move to a higher position with a different company. It shouldn’t be considered a step back in your professional process; a lateral change can be just as beneficial for your career as any other move. 

Below are some top reasons to make a lateral move when changing jobs. 


Entering a new department or company can build your expertise and give you more of a well-rounded professional look. Even in a similar position, building experience professionally gives more of an edge when exploring higher ranked job options down the line. This can be learning from a new set of peers or simply adjusting to a different setting.


A lateral change can give way to a better job location. A new company that is offering the same role but is closer to home can be the equivalent of gaining more take home dollars even if the pay scale is the same. Since the potential new business location is closer, the cost of commuting is lower. This can result in more in your pocket and more time on your hands. This is also true if your new company offers remote or flexible work while your former position did not.

Extra Benefits

A sideways career move, even within the same company, can add some extra perks to your job. A different department or area may give more opportunity for better work-life balance or flexibility. Other perks can also come with the new co-workers you will meet. Building more of a social network is valuable for the now as well as in the future. 

Better Management

More employees are inclined to leave their management or company leadership than the job itself. Making a lateral move can allow for the chance to work with a management team better suited to your professional needs or desired culture. 

Higher Pay Scale

Economically, one of the biggest reasons employees make any career moves at all is the pay scale. The salary piece can be, and almost always is, a top tier reason for anyone to look for other job opportunities. In a lateral move instance, the motivation may lay in management’s inability or unwillingness to provide a pay raise for the position. That drives the decision to look elsewhere for the same role with a salary that better matches the current market rate. 

Peace of Mind

Sometimes taking a chance on a new endeavor professionally can be stressful, but lateral moves can offer a less stressful transition into something new and potentially more rewarding. In the end, making a lateral move when changing jobs can be just as effective for you emotionally as professionally. It can help drive your passion for your current company or it can open doors to external opportunities in another. 

For more job search insights, please browse our advice section. You can also reach out to one of our expert recruitment consultants today if you’d like assistance finding your next opportunity. 

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