3 Career Moves That Are Better Than a Promotion

by Maurie Backman | Published on Sept. 2, 2021

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Don't just spin your wheels chasing promotions. Here are some other options to consider.

It's common practice for people to work hard at their jobs in the hopes of climbing the ladder and eventually landing a promotion. And that may be a goal of yours. But rather than fixate on that, it could pay to pursue these career paths that may end up serving you better.

1. A lateral move that opens more doors

A lot of people assume that to grow their skills as well as their earnings, they need to get promoted at work. But sometimes, a lateral move can be even more beneficial.

If you move to a different part of your company, you may get to develop new skills or connections you can use to climb the ranks internally or outside the company. And that could, in turn, lead to earning more money.

2. A step down that offers a better work-life balance

Job-related burnout is a major consequence that a lot of people face. And while it can come as a result of boredom or dissatisfaction with the work you're doing, it can also stem from a work schedule that is too demanding and doesn't give you enough time to unwind and engage in adequate self-care.

If that's the situation you're in, then taking a job that's a notch down on the corporate ladder may not be a bad idea, especially if you can convince your manager not to cut your pay. But even if your earnings do take a modest hit, if you can swing your expenses on less money, or perhaps dip into your savings to compensate, you may find that taking a step back leads to a better work-life balance.

Not only might that work wonders for your mental health, but it could also help you perform better at work. And that could lead to more long-term opportunities for you.

3. A switch to a more rewarding field

It's easy to get caught up in the idea of chasing a promotion and basking in that success. But before you push yourself to do that, take a step back and think about the actual work you're doing. Is it really satisfying to you? Are you learning a lot and enjoying your role? Or are you mostly bored, unhappy, or apathetic toward the job itself?

If the latter applies to you, rather than go after a promotion, look into a career change. Switching industries could make you a lot happier, which may, in turn, help you be a lot more productive and successful.

Explore your options

Going after a promotion isn't a bad thing. But before you get too hung up on that idea, think about whether there might be other ways to move your career in a positive direction. You may find that pursuing the ideas above puts a lot less pressure on you while achieving even better results.

Remember, too, that while a promotion can come with a pay boost, that's not always the case. Before you pursue that new role, you may want to do some research so you don't get stuck taking on more responsibility without any type of financial reward.

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