In my role as a Recruiter at Oracle I receive a large number of resumes of people who are interested in working with us. People contact me for a number of reasons, it can be about a specific role that we may be hiring for or they may send me an email asking if there are any suitable roles for them. Sometimes when I speak to people we have similar roles available to the roles that they may actually be in now. Sometimes people are interested in making this type of sideways move if their motivation to change jobs is not necessarily that they are looking for increased responsibility or career advancement (example: money, redundancy, work environment).
However there are times when after walking through a specific role with a candidate that they may say to me – “You know that is very similar to the role that I am doing now. I would not want to move unless my next role presents me with the next challenge in my career”.
This is a far statement – if a person is looking to change jobs for the next step in their career they should be looking at suitable opportunities that will address their need. In this instance a sideways step will not really present any new challenges or responsibilities. The main change would be the company they are working for. Candidates looking for a new role because they are looking to move up the ladder should be looking for a role that offers them the next level of responsibility.
I think the best job changes for people who are looking for career advancement are the roles that stretch someone outside of their comfort zone but do not stretch them so much that they can’t cope with the added responsibilities and pressure. In my head I often think of this example in the same context of an elastic band – you can stretch it, but only so much before it snaps. That is what you should be looking for – to be stretched but not so much that you snap.
If you are for example in an individual contributor role and would like to move into a management role – you may not be quite ready to take on a role that is managing a large workforce or requires significant people management experience. While your intentions may be right, your lack of management experience may fit you outside of the scope of search to be successful this type of role. In this example you can move from an individual contributor role to a management role but it may need to be managing a smaller team rather than a larger team.
While you are trying to make this transition you can try to pick up some responsibilities in your current role that would give you the skills and experience you need for your next role. Never be afraid to put your hand up to help on a new project or piece of work. You never know when that newly gained experience may come in handy in your career.
This article was originally posted on David Talamelli’s Blog – David’s Journal on Tap