Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lateral move can broaden your experience

With the challenging job market of the past five years, many who have expensive business degrees report they can’t get more than entry-level jobs.

Once they do land a more challenging position, they find it’s not a guarantee a master’s in business administration will pay off in terms of bigger promotions or better pay.

"I have seen, more than once, MBA candidates become frustrated when their employer has chosen not to promote them or even give them more challenging assignments," says Hannah Morgan, job search strategist for Career Sherpa.

One solution to such a dilemma — for those with an MBA and for those without — may be a lateral career move.

A lateral career move, which doesn’t come with a more prestigious title or pay raise, still is considered worthwhile because you have a chance to learn new skills, gain fresh ideas and build relationships with key players. Often those are the critical ingredients to propel an employee up the ladder eventually in a way that an MBA will not.

Paulett Everhart is chief executive of CDI, a billion-dollar engineering tech company. She says she does not have an MBA but still managed to rise to her to position by making some career moves that were lateral —and even a step down.

The key: Each move gained her more skills and experience and built relationships that she needed to succeed, she says.

While Everhart says she would not advise against an MBA and believes they can be valuable, she believes it is just as important to self-educate and steer your career in a way that will lead you to your goals — even if that means taking a lateral position. Salt Lake Tribune

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