When it comes to your career path, sometimes “up” isn’t the only direction in which to travel. A conversation I am constantly having with Lawyers is discussing the benefits of a sideways or “lateral” career move. In particular, why this should be considered in the current market.

While a lateral job move is not necessarily a promotion, it is definitely not a step backward. Especially if you are highly motivated to move from your current employer.  Over the last four and a half years that I have spent working with Lawyers, I have learnt a few things. 

1 – You are highly driven people that value success and career development. 

2 – You are “people” people and always have a strong network around you.

3 – You are constantly re-evaluating your priorities and work life balance is becoming increasingly important.

We’re human. We need to try out different options to figure out what motivates and what doesn’t. A lateral move may be a viable option for you if you want to learn a new skill set. It may also suit you if you’d like to integrate into a new culture, shift career paths, have a better work-life balance, change other benefits, experience a different management style.

If you’re considering a change in your career, it’s important to understand your options — and what those options can do for you. Here are some of the top reasons you should consider making a lateral move when changing jobs.

A lateral career move can provide experience

A lateral move often gives you the opportunity to gain additional skills and knowledge. You will gain insights from top experts and mentors who have been in the legal industry for many years and potentially get the opportunity to work on top (and different) deals and files to what you previously have. Are you striving to work on those deals that win all the New Zealand Legal Awards every year? Professional development is such a key driver to Lawyers so why not soak up all the information and mentorship our talented lawyers and experts have to give.

Becoming more marketable

Are you considering chasing the Kiwi dream and heading overseas? A lateral move could allow you to build your network as we all know that the New Zealand Legal market is tight knit and has some incredible contacts overseas. Depending on your new role, you could also potentially interact with new customers or even future employers if an inhouse position is the next step on your career ladder? 

Avoiding burnout by choosing a lateral career move

We talk daily to Lawyers who are teetering on burning out and considering leaving the legal profession altogether. Changing law firms is a good way to ensure you have new challenges to face, and are once again excited about going to work.  You will experience a new culture, interact with new people, and have a change in systems and processes. You can also reset and join a company that prioritises work life balance and flexibility. Your current 90 hour weeks could very well be a thing of the past.

Sometimes a career doesn’t follow a straight line up the corporate ladder. Depending on your goals, you may decide that a lateral move is the next best “forward” step on your career path.  So, be open to opportunities.  It could be exactly what you need.

If you are considering your career goals and thinking of a move, get in touch for a confidential chat to better understand and utilise the current market – Reach out to discuss how The Tyler Wren team can help you today or in the future!

Stevie Doubleday | sdoubleday@tylerwren.co.nz | 09 930 9828Here at Tyler Wren, we know that good people know good people. If you refer someone to Tyler Wren, whom we secure a new role for, we offer a voucher of *$600. Click here to refer a friend