Online education for making a lateral employment move

Not everyone who needs a new job really wants to give up their old place of employment. In some of those cases, however, there won’t be a job available that pays any more than the job you already have, which may make it seem like there is little that can be done. This isn’t true, in most cases, and you might very well be able to make a lateral employment move.

Why it matters?

Sometimes, the pay at a job is fine, the benefits are great and you love where you work. The problems that some people have with their jobs really come from burnout. This is when someone is just so tired of their job that their effectiveness diminishes and they no longer have any enthusiasm for what they do. In some cases, such individuals can move to another job at their company or agency and get a refreshing new set of duties, even if they’re at the same pay. There are plenty of cases where changing the job may actually mean a lot more than a raise to someone.

An example

It’s easier to understand this concept if you’re thinking of a very good employment situation. Imagine you had a job as a sheriff’s deputy. The pay is decent, the benefits are great and you have some prestige that comes with the job that makes it psychologically very gratifying. Truth be told, however, you could go the rest of your life without dealing with one more drunk driver, petty thief of weekend nightclub brawl to deal with. You want to stay in law enforcement, but you want to do something different.

One option would be to get an education in a related field. Forensic psychology, for example, would give you the skills to stay in law enforcement, but to move over to a job where you work in a different capacity. You might have to stay at your same pay grade or even take a cut, but moving over would enable you to stick with your job, keep your benefits and keep the retirement accounts that you’ve already contributed to.

This type of movement within an existing employer’s structure is very popular. Not only does it benefit the employee, but it allows the employer to keep a good person on staff who is just at the point where they can no longer deal with the job that they have. It helps the employer to avoid having to go through the expensive and involved process of hiring a replacement.

Online education and lateral movement

Online education provides a way for people to keep their jobs and to get an education in another field that could help them make a lateral move. Sometimes, an employer will actually help pay for this education, as it’s an investment in their own business. A deputy wanting to move to forensic psychology, such as in the example above, might find that their current employer would very much like them to stay on staff and, because of that, the employer may be willing to help with the cost of the education required to make the move.

Before you give up on your job, consider whether or not you could make a lateral move. You’re not asking for any more money when making such a move and your employer may be more than happy to find a way that you can stick with an organization that values your contributions and that would very much like to keep you on staff. With the right training, this type of a move is oftentimes a win-win for employer and employee.

About the Author:
Anita Schepers provides advice and information on how to get a forensic psychology degree online at

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