How to think laterally about career choices

How to think laterally about career choices

How to think laterally about career choicesby Jacquie Wise

Four options to consider for a career or job change

The world changes so quickly these days for us to be safe plodding along on the same path without some kind of growth that increases our choices. I’ve reinvented myself so many times I’ve lost track, but it’s always expanded my options and has contributed greatly to my professional success and ability to flow with changing market trends.

Whether you’re in between jobs, looking for a new direction, or you’re in a job you hate, you’ve decided it’s time for a change. But to what?

There are four options to consider:

Moving up

If you’re bored with your position, the easiest path to take is often to move up to the next level. That may require extra training; it could require a move to another organisation, but it could be a good move if it offers you the extra challenge, income or status you crave, in a career you already enjoy.

Moving down

You may want to reduce your levels of pressure or responsibility to enhance your balance of lifePerhaps you need to step downwards to gain experience in a different field. Or you want to reduce your working hours in order to develop your own business on the side. All valid reasons for seeking a job at levels lower than your current position.

Moving out

The experience you have could be applicable in a totally different job without necessarily involving additional study. One way I’ve continually kept this option open in my own career is through gaining experience and credibility by volunteering or by being active on a committee.

To inspire you, consider how your current job might differ if applied to research, teaching or training, specialised buying or selling of equipment, specialised journalism, quality control and so on.

Moving across

This means doing the same job at the same level, but in different pace. It could be in another branch of the same company, a totally different organisation or a different geographical location.

Whether you work in a large organisation or a small business will also make a difference to the same role. The smaller the business, the more responsibility and autonomy you’re likely to have.

Don’t limit yourself to advertised positions either. Chase employment agencies, recruiters, revisit your social and professional networks (including LinkedIn for introductions), or try making direct contact with a CV or resume and cover letter they can’t resist.

Imagine how you would feel if you could make the right move in your career. Interested? If so, contact me directly to arrange a convenient appointment time.


I’d love to know what you think of what I’ve said here.

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If you or someone you know would like a personal consultation, please call +61 3 9690 8159.

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