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Learning Center Experience
By Karla Drenner, PhD, MS, MBA, Faculty, Public Administration Programs
As public managers today, we live in
an international and interconnected world in which our career mindsets need to
shift to one of a more flexible, nimble, and mobile workforce. Organizations
and employees must learn how to be more agile in response to changing political
environments and more flexible in problem solving and devising cross-functional
learning capabilities within the organization.
This shift applies to employees in
both public and private sectors. According to Joanne Cleaver, author of The Career Lattice: Combat Brain Drain,
Improve Company Culture, and Attract Top Talent (2012), you must
proactively plot your own career plan to make sense of diagonal and lateral
moves. Instead of following a path of a traditional career ladder, think of your
career in a different way and focus on acquiring new skills. In other words,
consider your career as a lattice rather than a
ladder—this will provide you the development opportunity to think
through a lateral move.
In a 2014 U.S. News-On Careers article titled “5
Reasons to Make a Lateral Career Move,” author Vicki Salemi suggests that moving onward doesn’t
necessarily mean you have to literally move up. If
you have been in your current position for a number of years, you may have
become so good at it that you know all there is to know—perhaps you have even
become a bit bored? By taking a lateral move and learning new skills, you may
become reinvigorated with new challenges and opportunities.
A lateral move also means working
with new people, which can be especially important if you are seeking a change
from individuals you currently work with, or simply like meeting new people.
Let's face it, not all bosses are created equal. Perhaps you feel your current
boss does not see you for your full potential. Or perhaps you’d like the
opportunity to learn from a new boss with different knowledge and skills. Meeting
new people, gaining new skills, and broadening your capabilities and
accomplishments are all reasons for considering a lateral move.
According to a Gallop poll (2014),
70% of Americans are disengaged on their job (Adkins, 2014). Why not decide that you want to be among the engaged
30%? If a lateral position sounds interesting, take a look! Public management reforms have promoted a new type of
public career; while it is up to you to
pursue opportunities that advance your career agenda, don’t discount the
potential value of a lateral move.
Adkins, A. (2014) Gallup News: Majority of U.S. Employees Not Engaged Despite Gains in 2014. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx
Drenner is a faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this
article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan
University. The University cannot guarantee career advancement.
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And if you are considering pursuing higher education we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University’s programs and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.It is important to note that certain career paths are growing and our degrees are designed to strengthen your knowledge and prepare our students to advance their careers. But Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Several factors specific to a student’s or alumni’s backgrounds and actions, as well as economic and job conditions, affect employment. Also, keep in mind that national long-term projections covered in articles may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
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