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Have you taken a 'stepping stone' job?(4 Posts)
I have been in my current role for 3 years and is quite specific to one area within my profession. My previous work history is also within this area. I am at the point where I want, and am ready, to move to the next level but I really need wider experience of other areas within my profession to be able to get the capabilities And experience I need to move up. My line manager has confirmed this and I agree.
I really enjoy the work in the current area I am in and find it both interesting and challenging but am probably getting comfortable in that role now. I started looking for other jobs and have been offered a role that has wider experience but also has elements of my current work area in, so arguably the right next move. My current line manager is also very different to me in terms of the way we work and so doesn't give me the level of support I feel I need to improve my capabilities.
I really enjoy what I currently do and don't relish the prospect of fitting into a new team and getting up to speed in a completely unfamiliar area of work where I will probably hit the ground running. I am also concerned that I won't enjoy the new area of work as much as my current area, although this is probably just because it is different. Friends have said that even if I don't like the work I only need to stay for a year and then find another job and I will then have a better range of skills. I am quite risk adverse (as is the nature of my profession) and so am finding it really difficult to decide whether I should take the new role or stay within in the familiarity and comfort of my current role.
Has anyone ever taken a job for tactical reasons or as a stepping stone to get where they want to be in the future? How did it play out and was it the right decision or did you regret it?
Progressing in your career does involve elements of risk, as you have highlighted. I tend to be risk averse so I fully empathise with your concerns! A new role involves moving into uncomfortable spaces with lots of 'unknown-unknowns' (To quote Rumsfeld).
I don't regret the risks I've taken, even the ones that didn't work out developed my 'career muscles' and made me stronger and more resourceful.
If your company supports Secondments, they are a widely recognised way to dip your toe in the water of a new role with the benefit of being able to return to your home department afterwards.
The critical success factor is supportive management. Very often, companies talk the talk re: opportunity to grow and develop but don't always deliver on that promise. They need to be more willing to allow growth and development to continue ongoing, and accept that someone moving into a new role won't hit the ground running from day one and the expectation they should "know everything" is not realistic.
I'm about to do this; I'm going to be taking a cut in pay of about £3500 pa in order to gain a new set of skills and get a extra qualification which I hope will help me move up the ladder after this sideways step.
I'm nervous about it and will probably see if my current manager will agree to it being a secondment. As you said I like my current job and team but in order to progress I need to expand my skills.
If you've identified the skills and experience you need and that's the only way to get them, then it sounds like an intelligent move to me.
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