Dec 14, 2021
"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
I know you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking “wow Ryan thanks for the daily dose of cliches”.. But hear me out!! Because when you're looking for work, “building a door” instead of waiting for the right opportunity is some pretty powerful advice! No one who finds success ever did so by sitting back and waiting around idly hoping something good would come their way… If you’re not happy with the job that you’re in, then it’s time for you to create your own opportunity.
You may remember a recent post I wrote called Are You Feeling Lost or Stuck on Your Career Path?, where I gave 3 suggestions to help you get “unstuck” from a job that you don't like or a career that isn't checking all of your boxes when it comes to your occupational needs. Just as a refresher.. those 3 suggestions were:
- Know Yourself
- Be open to trying out jobs
- Adopt a growth mindset
In that post, I mentioned several ways that you can use those suggestions to start moving down a better path.. But TODAY I want to dive a little deeper into “being open to trying out jobs”. We’re talking about MOVING OVER in your career journey.
What do I mean by ‘moving over’ in your career?
Making a horizontal career jump means that you are switching to a new job that’s on the same level or rank as the job that you currently have. The shift can be within the same company, or to a different employer - both potentially being very beneficial depending on your needs and circumstances.
Moving over, or making a horizontal career shift, seems less glamorized than a vertical move up... It usually doesn’t come with higher pay, status, or title. But not all career advancements are about climbing up! Horizontal job shifts can be incredibly rewarding, especially if you are looking to stay at the same company but snag a different role, OR if you’re wanting the same job that you have but with a different organization.
Covid has definitely put a big stall on career advancements, but if these tips resonate with your current circumstance, you can bypass the economic freeze and slide into a job position that will help you to grow.
How can a horizontal job shift be beneficial to you?
1. Move over to develop your skills (that will qualify you for bigger promotions)
Well for one, if you eventually want to land a higher role but don’t have the skills to qualify you for that position.. Then a horizontal shift in jobs is going to be a HUGE proactive step to bridging your skills gaps. Let me give you a prime example of “moving OVER to eventually more UP” from one of my current employees...
Jen had worked in customer service for 3 years, and although she really enjoyed the people she worked with and the company she worked for... She was starting to feel burnt out in her current position. She aspired to move up into a higher paying role, but the problem was.. she had 0 experience in management.
So instead of gunning for a title, she decided to take a horizontal job leap accepting a position in our sales department. This sales position allowed her to develop new skills! She learned how to better communicate 1-1, how to be more persuasive, how to genuinely listen, deal with rejection, and work smarter not harder.
6 months after being in sales... Another position in the company opened up! And guess what Jen did? She took another horizontal shift and accepted a role in the accounting department where she learned the behind-the-scenes business side of the company...
A full year after shifting jobs, and with a whole new set of skills, Jen applied for an open management position and was very excited when she snagged the role (with a nice upgrade in pay) because her experience made her a very QUALIFIED candidate. Moving over and gaining more knowledge and experience in those different roles gave her the tools needed to eventually move up in the company.
Even if you don’t aspire to move vertically within your organization, you should always be striving to upskill. Making a horizontal job switch is a smart move to further your experience and knowledge.
2. Become more visible
Changing jobs and working on different teams will help you get to know more people in more places. Meaning not only will it help you to expand your social circle by working alongside different coworkers, but you’ll also be able to work under other supervisors and management - making it a lot easier for you to network.
3. Career Contentment
There are few things that are worse than feeling like you’re an absolute slave to the job that you wake up to go to every day. Your life is in your hands! So if you dread waking up and spending your precious time at a job that you’re burnt out from... Guess who's the only one who has the power to change that? Yep, YOU.
Moving over can literally refresh your life by switching to a position that makes you excited to actually come to work. Prioritize your happiness and make a job switch if you’re burnt out from your current occupation.
What steps should you take to move over in your career?
If your goal is to eventually move up…
You first have to determine what your ideal higher-level position would be and self-assess what skills you lack that you would need to have to land that job. Then with those needed skills in mind, you can strategically figure out which horizontal career shift makes the most sense to be beneficial to you in the long run.
If your goal is to spice things up and get out of a job you're burnt out from…
Then talk with your supervisor. Share your thought process, professionally communicate your feelings and goals, and ask what other positions there are that are currently available. Then choose one that checks the boxes for you that your current position does not.
If there aren’t any open opportunities to move over in your company…
Make the decision to do what’s best for you! And if you decide to find a similar position at a different company, then you’ll need to start job hunting. Email us for help finding open positions! (and refer us to a friend if you know that they need help finding job openings too).
If you’re not happy with where you’re at in your career journey... It might be time for you to BUILD A DOOR and create your own opportunity to move over in your job.