How to side-step into another role

There are a few steps when considering a lateral career move. Firstly, realise that moving sideways is moving into a role at a similar level but often to a different department or functional role. It is not a step backwards and is often a chosen career path because of the opportunities it can allow people. In saying that, there has to be some sense about why you are moving across into a new role. Do you want a new challenge? Are you studying towards another speciality? Do you just need something different?

Whatever the reason is, the first step to moving laterally at work, is to plan your path.

Remember this: What? Where? Why? How? Who?




Lateral Role Transition


What department or role do you want to move into?


Know your why well, so that you can explain it to others. Eg. “I want to move into personal finance and wealth management as I have a passion for doing my own research about smart investments and am taking the steps to become a financial planner.”


Here’s the fun part. The action. You’ve made it make sense which is wonderful, and it will help you to communicate your goals to others. Here are some steps you will need to take:

  • If there are any formal qualifications you will need, investigate and undertake the study required.
  • Make a list of transferrable skills and ensure these are communicated on your resume and that you know how to discuss them if there is an interview requirement.
  • Make note of the key skills required of you from a new role and do the work to help you strengthen those skills. As an example, you could volunteer to assist with a project that runs across the relevant departments in your organisation. You just need to put yourself on the appropriate peoples radars as someone who would likely be competent in the role you desire.
  • You could join a committee or volunteer outside of work. This strengthens your network and may help you move across roles outside of the company you currently work at.
  • Get in touch with a trusted recruiter and let them know of your transition plan. They will be able to help find you an applicable role for someone in your position.
  • If you want to move across within your organisation, share your goals with your manager and build a relationship with the relevant department heads. A good company is one that encourages growth and development.