Lateral Career Moves

For a moment, consider a lattice fence, full of greenery growing in all directions—upward, sideways, and diagonally. Though each plant may be growing toward a different destination, the overall effect is one of abundance, often forming a breathtaking picture.

Similarly, the most successful career journeys are not necessarily defined by strict vertical moves as we advance up a ladder. “Lattice” type career moves—a combination of sideways, upward and diagonal moves—can bring a wealth of abundance to individual careers, while a focus strictly on vertical movements could surprisingly derail us at some point. Candidates who have broad business views, multiple functional proficiencies, or a variety of regional or global experiences will bring attractive knowledge and skills to open positions.

Individual career aspirations may evolve and change over time, based on our unique experiences. As we consider our career goals, it is important to continuously consider the various paths to get there. We might envision a goal in the upper corner of a lattice, but we should not consider only a straight line of hierarchical promotions to get there. We should consider how competencies like broader business acumen, organizational agility, innovation, problem-solving, strategic agility, and technological know-how are highly attractive and transferable to positions. These types of competencies are developed by a combination of lateral and vertical moves.

Yes, a pinch of career patience is needed to fulfill our aspirations as we grow across our lattice. But without a doubt, the outcome could be breathtaking.

Alumni may call Alumni Career Services at <strong>401.874.9404</strong> or email our Alumni Career Advisors: <strong>Audra Lavoie:</strong> <a href=””></a> / <b>Karen Rubano:</b> <a href=””></a>

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