For some, a horizontal move is considered taboo as they strive to climb the corporate ladder, but that is not always the case. There are a variety of reasons that a horizontal move may be the right move for you. It is easy to get “trapped” in a discipline within the supply chain world as you can start your career and transportation and remain there for the entirety of your working life. That is completely fine if that is what you choose to do. Others may want to diversify their options.
This is where a horizontal move can become advantageous. It can allow someone with a very narrow scope of knowledge and expertise learn more about the supply chain from a different perspective than their current role. In some cases, this could make that employee more attractive to consider when hiring for a promotion as he or she has gained valuable knowledge in multiple disciplines. Another important consideration is that a horizontal move can allow you to experience a different segment of the business outside of supply chain. For instance, you could remain in a transportation supply chain role, but instead of working in the imports of raw materials, you could work in the transportation of finished goods allowing you to see that side of the business.
Along with reasons of diversifying your experience as a supply chain professional, you could also make a horizontal move in order to gain a larger understanding of other roles… meaning jumping into marketing, finance, etc.. The reasoning could be as simple as the new role being something that has always caught your attention and seemed exciting or it offer the ability to continue to build your professional resume. A final consideration is to enhance so called “soft skills,” such as leadership ability or problem-solving. Someone may be an appealing option to move up the corporate ladder, but that person may also need to grow in order to achieve that next promotion. That is where taking a horizontal role that is specifically designed to enhance those qualities can come into play.
Everyone has their reasons for wanting to (or not wanting to) make a horizontal move, but the most important reason is that it is truly something that YOU want to do! Do what you think is best for you and enjoy it as much as you can!