Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

Will it hurt my career if I make a lateral move?

Dear Ed,
I’m on the job hunt, and wondering if I should (or shouldn’t) be considering a lateral career move. Will it hurt my career in the long run if I move to the same job title at another publication? HELP!

Thanks,
Allison*

Dear Allison,

Every Whippersnapper wants to work his or her way up the corporate ladder, right? Right! But sometimes, taking a little detour–like making a lateral move–can set you up on a bigger and better career path.

Making a lateral career move won’t give you a new title, but you’ll still get the opportunity to work at a new place, gain new skills, and work with a brand new group of colleagues.

One editor we spoke to (who asked to remain anonymous) explained her reasons for taking the lateral plunge–she had been at the same magazine for a number of years and knew she wouldn’t be able to move up the masthead any further there. While not “thrilled” about moving to a new job with the same title, she decided it was worth it for a number of reasons: the new magazine had a different reader profile, her department was structured differently, and the salary and benefits were better.

While it was a difficult choice, this editor says that, for her, it was the right one: “I’m a more well-rounded editor for having worked at multiple magazines, and I believe that I got the job after the lateral move job because of having more than one magazine on my resume (despite the same titles). Plus, with each move, I increased my salary.”

So, to recap: There’s a lot more to a job than its title. If you do choose to make a lateral move, make one that broadens your skills set and adds new responsibilities to your resume. Good luck!

*Name has been changed

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