Understanding the Two Methods of Career Development

Most people think that career development can only happen vertically. However, your career development is specific to your personal skills and abilities. Therefore, the horizontal career growth is there to contrast the vertical. So, here are the differences between horizontal and vertical career growth.

Vertical career move

As the name suggests, a vertical career move aims to get the highest position possible. Vertical career moves are made by increasing an individual’s specialist function. In addition, this career move can only happen if the organization’s personal development concept lies in functional strategy. In this strategy, personal developments are done by increasing individual skills. 

As a result, career advancement can only be achieved through skill development. To put it simply, the more skilled you are, the higher the position you can achieve in a corporation. Despite the potential career that this move offers, the vertical movement can be extremely limiting, especially for a company whose employee tends to stick around for a while. 

Horizontal career move

Unlike vertical career moves that prioritize higher job titles, horizontal career development prioritizes expanding your knowledge. So, instead of aiming for a higher position, a horizontal career move allows you to explore new skills that you can achieve in your current position. A particular business article described the horizontal move as riding an elevator while stopping on each floor to open all of its doors.

Horizontal career moves allow you to experience different departments and teams. In addition, it also allows you to take on new roles and meet new people. But, saying that horizontal and vertical careers move as mutually exclusive is not entirely true. In fact, each career move can complement each other beautifully.

So, those are the differences between horizontal and vertical career development. Think of a horizontal career move as building a root system of a tree. Once you’ve built a strong support system, you can move upwards vertically to achieve a higher position.

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