Know when it’s time to Move up the Ladder

There comes a point in every job when the things that used to challenge you no longer do so. There’s nothing new for you to learn and there are no new responsibilities you can take on. If you’re starting to feel like you’re losing the excitement and passion in your work, it may be a good sign that it’s time to make the switch to a more senior position within the company. But before you decide to try to move up the ladder, consider these points so you can ensure you’re making the right choice.

Are you moving laterally? Don’t just switch careers for the sake of switching – unless it’s something you’re truly interested in. Ideally, you’ll always be moving vertically in your job trajectory, but sometimes in order to get the experience you need to reach your ideal job, you may have to take a lateral move.

What’s a lateral move? It’s a position within the same company that offers roughly the same level and pay. I recommend doing this only if you’re sure it’s necessary for your career path; otherwise, you’re just wasting your time. This new job will take several years for you to master, and at the end of it, you’ll be at the same level as you had been before. Sometimes it may be beneficial though, so think carefully before making the decision.

Are you sure there’s nothing more to learn? Before you attempt to switch positions, ensure you’ve exhausted every avenue of learning within your current role. When hiring, I look for people who have a thirst for knowledge and learning new things. If I don’t see that you’ve excelled and mastered your current role, I probably won’t be very excited to hire you for a new one.

Act like you already have the job you want. Often, as you accumulate time and experience within a company, you’ll begin to add on additional duties and responsibilities outside of your official job roles. How do you manage this without overstepping your boundaries or causing friction? Volunteer yourself for extra projects and duties that are similar to the role you’d like to have. If you’re interested in becoming a supervisor someday, take on a leadership role within your own team, mentoring those around you. The higher-ups at the company will take notice of the way you interact with others, and if they notice you’ve already taken on a leadership role, they’ll be much more likely to promote you when the time comes because they’ve already seen your skills in action.

The opposite can also be true: if you apply for a leadership position, yet you don’t act like a leader within your current team, it’s going to be more difficult for you to get the job. Senior management doesn’t want to hire you on the hope that you’ll develop leadership skills in the new role; they want someone who can jump right in and succeed.

If, after reading the above information, you still feel like the time is right to make the job switch, then go for it! For personalized job coaching on your journey, contact me here.