3 Ways To Advance Your Career That Aren’t A Promotion


Climbing the proverbial corporate ladder is one way to advance your career, but it’s certainly not the only way. There are a multitude of ways that you can advance your career that are just as valuable as a new title or the corner office. These are three of the top ways to keep your career on a steady trajectory.

A lateral move.

A lateral move is one of the best ways to advance your career. It’s often easier to achieve than a promotion, and it’s a better alternative in terms of your own development. You’ll be able to broaden your skillset, showcase your talents in a new role, and gain valuable experience.

A position doesn’t have to be available, or even created already, for you to make a lateral move. If you see an opportunity, come up with a solid pitch to your boss as to why it would be beneficial and why you’re the right person to make it happen. Frame this conversation in a way that clearly shows how the new position would add value to the company, otherwise it can come across as you just wanting to do something for the sake of getting a new title.

The downside of a lateral move is that it doesn’t always come with a pay increase. However, the experience you’ll gain is just as valuable and will certainly lead to a raise in the future.

A drastic career change.

Obviously, a drastic career change isn’t for everyone, but if you find yourself in a position where there’s simply nowhere else to go or you’ve hit maximum burnout, this can be a great option.

The key to making a big career change work is to really put in the work to ensure that you’ve found the job you want to do for the next 5-10 years. This means researching, going on informational interviews, learning everything you can about the new industry, and seeing both the pros and cons of the new role. The grass is always greener on the other side until you get there, and when you’re making such a big change, you want to make sure you’re seeing the true color.

The upside of a drastic career change is that you can make up for a lower than deserved previous salary. You’re starting from a new, clear baseline, so it’s definitely possible to get a substantial salary boost.


Mentoring is a fantastic way to gain experience, try out new things, and make connections with new people. Finding a mentor can be the secret to advancing your career because of the wealth of opportunities it opens up. If you want to explore a new career pathway, find a mentor in your desired role. A mentor can also help you find clarity in what you want to do next and help you overcome any obstacles that may be standing in your way.

Being a mentor opens you up to new opportunities as well. Being a mentor can showcase your ability to teach and lead others, which is especially valuable if you’re looking to move into a management or supervisory role. Another option is to do a knowledge swap where you partner up with someone who has complimentary skills and you teach and learn from each other.

The moral of the story is that there’s no right or wrong way to advance your career. As long as you’re learning, developing, and growing, your title doesn’t really matter. And if you do want to climb the ladder, these steps can serve as building blocks to get you there.


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