It’s About What You Can Do, Not Your Job Title

A great way to identify your next lateral move is to think like your boss.

To think like your boss, read what your boss is reading.

What does your boss read?

Probably the Harvard Business Review.

And right here in the April 20 HBR digital digest, Alexandra Kalev, a management academic at the University of Tel Aviv, tees up latticing perfectly: “Think about what people can contribute, not just what jobs they hold.” (Read the entire article here.)

To identify a strategic lateral move in this chaotic time of COVID-19 economic confusion, apply Kalev’s insight to your career ambitions.

What are you doing now, just to help your company get through this crisis, that is outside your job description? Crystallize these new tasks, responsibilities and accomplishments as line items for your next performance review.

What could you do that is outside your job description? What skills would you like to gain, that would qualify you for your next big move up? If you’re not sure, this is the perfect time for internal networking. If your company clearly outlines qualifications for each job or level of responsibility, review those qualifications to see what gaps you can fill with a bit of online training or by pitching in on a team that introduces you to new people within the company or within your industry. If your company doesn’t offer transparent career paths, talk with someone who’s a couple steps ahead of you, or whom you’d work with in your destination position, to fill in the stepping stones.

This is the perfect time for showing initiative and self-direction. Explore Skillshare, Udemy and other online class platforms to gain skills that help you bridge to a new position.

And diary all this so you can show your boss, that you stayed a step ahead of the company’s needs even in a crisis. The very ability of anticipating needs and positioning yourself as the right person at the right time is a career skill in itself.