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Sometimes the way to rise to the top is by moving sideways.
– Modern jobs come with a tour of duty expectation — that is, you provide a certain commitment to the employer, and the employer provides a certain commitment to you, but it’s not forever. After a few years, results and options are re-evaluated.
– Rather than thinking of a career ladder, it’s more important in the modern job market to view it as a career lattice — a grid. It’s not always about moving up, sometimes it’s about moving sideways or even down slightly. Why? That way you can cut across different specialties and see how they fit together.
– One of the most important aspects about working at a company isn’t just the money you are paid — it’s about the experiences they give you and how they set you up for the future. On top of getting a raise, you should be mindful how an employer is trying to help you expand your horizons so that you can rise to the top of the lattice.
Neil Irwin is a senior economic correspondent at The New York Times, where he was a founding member of The Upshot, the Times’s site for analytical journalism. He was previously the author of The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire, a New York Times bestselling account of the global financial crisis and its aftermath that was short-listed for the McKinsey-Financial Times Business Book of the Year award. His latest book is How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World: The Definitive Guide to Adapting and Succeeding in High-Performance Careers
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