#Career: Horizontal vs vertical career trajectory, which works best?

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A well-planned career growth curve involves a broad understanding of oneself  and what you intend to accomplish in future, flanked with what the organization’s vision is. On top of that, the imminent thoughts of retirement-both early and late, sudden career change, and the fear of unforeseen job loss all rake our minds every day.

We all have different ambitions in life. Traditionally, some of us would and still do opt for senior most position(s) in the organizations we work for. Such kinds of people have set their eyes on the top target, CEO position in this case. They have a lasting managerial admiration, as they have weighed the pros and cons of such positions, and normally the pros win. The financial gains that accompany such top job categories are usually high – one considerable factor that would push individuals to the furthest frontier in an effort to have a piece of the cake. This is called vertical career growth where one aims for the skies.

Vertical growth in your career will ultimately provide you with leadership skills, which play an essential role in the overall growth of the company. You’ve got to agree that making the step-by-step progression from an entry level to senior position in a company takes guts.

But what of horizontal career path? In the absence of a firm and its well-stated objectives, an individuals’ goals stand on top and one aims at fulfilling them, regardless of the time he/she would have to put in. Employees with this mindset have a chance to diversify their roles in any company. For instance, when your boss moves you from the HR Department to the Tech Department, he’s doing you a big favor. Why? Diversity is created when one has numerous skills and knowledge about different disciplines.

Don’t shut him down because you think you only have knowledge about human resource management. Besides, you get primary info on how other departments work, you meet new colleagues and, if possible, break the ice. Horizontal career trajectory provides extensive space for you to expand your mind and not feel like you’ve been ‘locked’ in one room, a characteristic which’s highly visible in a vertical career growth.

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