280 Questions to Ask When Making a Lateral Move

280 Questions to Ask When Making a Lateral Move

Have you ever thought about switching lanes in your career without necessarily speeding up or hitting the brakes? Welcome to the concept of a “lateral move” — a strategic shift to a role that’s on the same level but offers fresh challenges, new perspectives, and may even reignite your passion.

It’s like taking a new path without changing the altitude. Exciting, right? But, as with any change, there are questions to ponder before making this leap to ensure you make the best choice. Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

  • About Understanding The Basics
  • About Career Growth And Development
  • About Compensation And Benefits
  • About Alignment With Personal Goals
  • About Job Security And Stability
  • About Training And Onboarding
  • About Team Dynamics
  • About Company Future And Vision
  • About Feedback And Reviews
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • How do I decide if making a lateral move is the right decision for me?
    • Does a lateral move mean a person won’t get a pay raise?
    • Is making a lateral move a good career move?
    • Can a lateral move impact my future job prospects?
    • How can I talk to my boss about wanting to make a lateral move?
  • Conclusion

About Understanding The Basics

  1. What are the main tasks I’ll be responsible for?
  2. How will success in this role be measured?
  3. Who will I report to directly?
  4. How does this role fit into the larger team or department?
  5. Are there new tools or software I’ll need to learn?
  6. What’s the typical daily routine like?
  7. How does this role differ from my current one?
  8. What are the immediate challenges this position faces?
  9. How long has this position been available?
  10. Why did the last person leave this role?
  11. Are there any direct projects I’ll be involved in?
  12. How often are performance reviews conducted?
  13. What are the hours like?
  14. Is there any flexibility?
  15. Will I need any training or onboarding for this position?
  16. Who are the main people I’ll work with?
  17. Is there any travel involved with this role?
  18. Are there opportunities for remote work?
  19. What tools or resources will I have access to?
  20. How has this role evolved over time?
  21. Is this a new role?
  22. Or has it been around for a while?
  23. How would you describe the pace of work here?
  24. What kinds of challenges has this team faced in the past?
  25. What’s the most rewarding part of this job?
  26. Are there any upcoming changes or shifts I should be aware of?
  27. How does this role impact the company’s overall goals?
  28. How is feedback usually given in this role?
  29. Is there a typical career path for someone in this role?
  30. What is the biggest challenge for someone new to this position?

About Career Growth And Development

  1. How can I grow in this role?
  2. Are there any leadership opportunities available?
  3. What professional development resources are available?
  4. Are there mentorship opportunities?
  5. How does the company handle promotions?
  6. Are there any skill-building workshops or courses I can attend?
  7. How often do people in this role move up in the company?
  8. Is there a clear career path mapped out for this role?
  9. What skills are most essential to develop for advancement?
  10. Are there opportunities to work on cross-departmental projects?
  11. How does the company support employees looking to further their education?
  12. How often do employees attend conferences or external training?
  13. What opportunities are there to lead projects or initiatives?
  14. Are there any examples of people who’ve grown in their careers from this role?
  15. What does the company see as the future for this role?
  16. How does the company invest in its employees’ growth?
  17. How is career progression tracked and rewarded?
  18. What’s the usual timeframe for moving up from this position?
  19. Are there any upcoming projects that could allow for skill development?
  20. How does the company handle feedback and performance improvement?
  21. Are there opportunities to get certifications or additional training?
  22. How often are performance goals reassessed?
  23. How does the company celebrate career milestones and achievements?
  24. What’s the best way to express interest in growing within the company?
  25. How are new responsibilities or tasks assigned?
  26. Are there opportunities to collaborate with senior leadership?
  27. How are internal job postings communicated to employees?
  28. How are accomplishments and growth recognized?

About Compensation And Benefits

  1. How will my compensation package be structured in this new role?
  2. Are there any additional bonuses or incentives to be aware of?
  3. How often are salaries reviewed and adjusted?
  4. What’s the process for negotiating my compensation package?
  5. How does the company benchmark compensation against industry standards?
  6. Are there opportunities for stock options or profit sharing?
  7. How does the company handle overtime or extra working hours?
  8. Are there any financial benefits tied to performance or milestones?
  9. When and how often are bonuses awarded?
  10. Are there any signing bonuses or relocation assistance offered?
  11. What’s the company’s policy on raises and promotions?
  12. How are merit increases determined?
  13. How does the company handle compensation for lateral moves compared to upward moves?
  14. Are there any fringe benefits unique to this role or department?
  15. What kind of health and dental insurance does the company provide?
  16. Are there any retirement benefits or plans, like a 401(k) or pension?
  17. Does the company offer paid time off, and how is it structured?
  18. Are there any special allowances, like travel or tech?
  19. Does the company offer benefits like gym memberships or wellness programs?
  20. Are there any tuition reimbursements or continued education benefits?
  21. What is the company’s policy on parental leave?
  22. Are there any benefits related to work-life balance, like flexible hours or remote work?
  23. How does the company handle long-term disability or life insurance?
  24. Does the company offer any legal or financial counseling benefits?
  25. What kind of support is available for personal or professional growth?
  26. How does the company handle health and wellness initiatives?
  27. Are there any employee discount programs or partnerships?
  28. What is the company’s stance on mental health benefits and support?
  29. How often are benefits reviewed and updated?
  30. Are there any additional perks or benefits I should be aware of?

About Alignment With Personal Goals

  1. How does this role align with typical long-term career paths within the company?
  2. In what ways can this position help further my professional growth?
  3. How does the company support work-life balance?
  4. Are there opportunities to learn and work on projects that match my personal interests?
  5. How would this role challenge and help me grow out of my comfort zone?
  6. Can this role help me build skills essential for my dream job or future endeavors?
  7. Are there opportunities to explore and contribute to causes or projects I’m passionate about?
  8. How does the company encourage personal development?
  9. Is there flexibility in the role that allows for pursuing personal projects or interests?
  10. How will this position help me expand my professional network?
  11. Does the company have resources or programs for personal growth, such as workshops or seminars?
  12. Are there opportunities for me to take on leadership roles or mentorship in the future?
  13. How does the company value and promote diversity and inclusion?
  14. Does this role provide continuous learning and education opportunities that align with my personal goals?
  15. Will I have the chance to work on projects that resonate with my values and passions?
  16. How will this move help in achieving a better work-life integration?
  17. Are there any success stories of individuals in this role aligning their jobs with personal aspirations?
  18. Can I expect to gain experiences here that I can’t get in my current role?
  19. How does the company handle aspirations outside of work, like further education or side projects?
  20. Will I have the chance to explore different aspects of the industry or business?
  21. Are there opportunities to attend events or conferences that align with my personal interests?
  22. Does the company have any initiatives aligning with my values, such as sustainability or community outreach?
  23. How does this role encourage creativity and innovation?
  24. What autonomy will I have in shaping my role and projects?
  25. How does the company handle employee aspirations and dreams?
  26. Does the company offer any classes or resources to help personal growth?
  27. How do team leads or managers support aligning work with personal goals?
  28. Are there any platforms or forums within the company to share and pursue personal passions?
  29. How does this lateral move enhance my overall life goals and vision?
  30. How has this position evolved over the years in terms of aligning with employee goals?
  31. Are there pathways for me to introduce or spearhead initiatives I’m passionate about?
  32. What kind of feedback has the company received regarding personal and work alignment?
  33. How has it been addressed?
  34. Can I expect exposure to different fields or industries I’m keen to explore?
  35. Are there any initiatives where employees can blend their professional roles with community service or giving back?
  36. How do team dynamics or projects in this role align with fostering personal growth?

About Job Security And Stability

  1. Are there any anticipated organizational changes that might affect this role?
  2. How does the company handle economic downturns or industry challenges?
  3. What’s the company’s track record in terms of layoffs or major staffing changes?
  4. How does the company invest in employee retention and job security?
  5. What kind of contracts or agreements does the company offer for this role?
  6. How stable has the team I’m joining been over the past few years?
  7. Are there any ongoing or upcoming projects that ensure the relevance and longevity of this role?
  8. How does the company handle role redundancy or overlaps?
  9. What is the average tenure of employees in this position or department?
  10. How does the company prioritize internal hiring or promotions over external recruitment?
  11. How transparent is the company about its financial health and stability?
  12. Are there any backup plans or measures in place to handle unexpected challenges?
  13. How does the company handle role evolution in rapidly changing industries or markets?
  14. Does the company have a diversified portfolio or revenue stream to ensure stability?
  15. How does the company’s growth strategy impact job security for its employees?
  16. What kind of support does the company provide employees during industry shifts or downturns?
  17. How does the company invest in skills training or upskilling to ensure job relevance?
  18. Are there any partnerships, collaborations, or mergers that solidify the company’s position in the market?
  19. How frequently does the company update its employees on its stability and future plans?
  20. How proactive is the company in anticipating market changes and ensuring job security?
  21. Are there any recent success stories highlighting the company’s stability and growth?
  22. How has the company handled previous economic crises or industry challenges?
  23. Does the company offer any assurance programs or benefits regarding job stability?
  24. How involved are employees in decision-making processes that impact job security?
  25. How does the company balance between innovation and maintaining core functions for stability?
  26. What kind of employee feedback does the company receive regarding job security?
  27. Are there any long-term projects or goals that solidify the importance of this role?
  28. How does the company ensure employees feel secure and valued in their positions?

About Training And Onboarding

  1. What does the training process look like for this position?
  2. How long is the typical onboarding process?
  3. Will I be assigned a mentor or buddy to help me settle in?
  4. Are there any specific training courses or materials I should be aware of?
  5. How does the company ensure that the training is updated and relevant?
  6. Who will be responsible for guiding me through my onboarding?
  7. Are there any assessments or evaluations at the end of the training period?
  8. How does the company gather feedback on the training process?
  9. Will I have opportunities for hands-on training?
  10. Are there any online resources or platforms used for training?
  11. How often is training provided for updating skills or knowledge?
  12. What’s the balance between self-paced learning and guided training?
  13. How does the company accommodate different learning styles?
  14. Will I receive training on company-specific software or tools?
  15. Are there opportunities to attend external workshops or seminars?
  16. Can I expect cross-training on roles related to mine?
  17. How is the success of training programs measured?
  18. Are there follow-up sessions after the initial onboarding period?
  19. How does the company handle training for evolving industry standards?
  20. Will I have a chance to provide feedback on the onboarding process?
  21. Is there ongoing training as the role evolves or the company changes?
  22. Are there any expected certifications or qualifications I’ll be guided towards?
  23. How does the company support continuous learning and development?
  24. Are there any role-specific protocols or guidelines to familiarize myself with?
  25. What’s the feedback process like during and after training?
  26. How does the company stay updated with best practices in training?
  27. Are there training sessions for soft skills or teamwork?
  28. How does the company prepare employees for potential role changes in the future?
  29. Are there any role-specific events or workshops I should attend?
  30. How do current team members usually find the onboarding process?
  31. Who are the main trainers or instructors for the onboarding process?
  32. Are there any specific training milestones I should be aiming for?
  33. What challenges have previous employees faced during training, and how were they addressed?
  34. How is the training content updated, and how often?
  35. Are there any opportunities for peer-to-peer learning during onboarding?
  36. What resources are provided to support my training outside of formal sessions?
  37. How do current employees stay updated with any changes in training or processes?
  38. Will I have check-in sessions during my training to discuss progress and concerns?
  39. How are onboarding success stories shared within the company?
  40. Are there any post-onboarding evaluations to understand long-term effectiveness?

About Team Dynamics

  1. How would you describe the team’s culture?
  2. Who will I work closely with?
  3. Are there regular team meetings?
  4. How does the team handle conflicts or disagreements?
  5. What’s the team’s communication style?
  6. How do team members support each other?
  7. How are decisions made within the team?
  8. Are there any team-building activities or events?
  9. Who are the key stakeholders I’ll interact with?
  10. How often does the team collaborate with other departments?
  11. How does the team celebrate successes?
  12. What’s the onboarding process for new team members?
  13. Are there any team traditions or rituals I should know about?
  14. How does the team handle feedback and critiques?
  15. What are the team’s main goals for the year?
  16. How does the team divide and conquer tasks?
  17. Are there any challenges the team is currently facing?
  18. How diverse is the team in terms of skills and backgrounds?
  19. How does the team handle stressful situations or tight deadlines?
  20. How approachable are team members for questions or concerns?
  21. Is there an open-door policy for discussing issues or ideas?
  22. How often do team members hang out outside of work?
  23. How does the team prioritize tasks or projects?
  24. How does the team ensure everyone’s voices are heard?
  25. What kind of roles and responsibilities does each team member have?
  26. How does the team keep up with industry trends or updates?
  27. Are there any internal team training or knowledge-sharing sessions?
  28. How does the team adapt to changes or new initiatives?
  29. How does the team stay motivated and engaged?
  30. What makes this team unique within the company?

About Company Future And Vision

  1. What is the company’s long-term vision?
  2. How does this role contribute to the company’s future goals?
  3. Are there any upcoming significant changes or shifts in the company’s direction I should be aware of?
  4. How does the company plan to stay ahead of industry changes and innovations?
  5. What are the company’s top priorities for the next five years?
  6. How does the company adapt to feedback and new ideas regarding its vision?
  7. Are there any new products, services, or markets the company is looking to explore soon?
  8. How does the company ensure sustainability and responsible growth?
  9. What role does innovation play in the company’s future plans?
  10. How does the company’s vision align with current industry trends?
  11. Are there any challenges the company foresees in achieving its future goals?
  12. How does the company invest in research and development?
  13. What’s the company’s stance on expanding globally or into new markets?
  14. How does the company’s future vision prioritize employee welfare and growth?
  15. Are there any major collaborations or partnerships in the pipeline?
  16. How transparent is the company about its future plans and strategies?
  17. How does the company handle potential risks or challenges to its vision?
  18. What is the expected growth trajectory for the company in the next few years?
  19. How does the company incorporate feedback from employees in shaping its future?
  20. Are there any new technologies or tools the company is keen on adopting?
  21. How does the company plan to tackle competition in the future?
  22. Are there plans for mergers, acquisitions, or any other significant business changes?
  23. How does the company engage with its stakeholders about its vision and future?
  24. What strategies are in place for continuous improvement and evolution?
  25. How does the company view its role in the larger community or industry in the coming years?
  26. Are there any upskilling or training initiatives planned for the future?
  27. How often does the company revisit and refine its vision and strategy?
  28. What’s the company’s strategy for retaining its top talent in the future?
  29. How does the company plan to stay culturally relevant in its future endeavors?
  30. How does this role evolve as the company moves towards its future vision?

About Feedback And Reviews

  1. How frequently does the company conduct performance reviews?
  2. What’s the format of performance evaluations? 
  3. Are they formal, informal, or a mix of both?
  4. How does the company gather feedback from peers, subordinates, and supervisors?
  5. Are there any specific metrics or KPIs that will be used to evaluate my performance in this role?
  6. How is feedback communicated to employees?
  7. Is there a platform or tool in place for continuous feedback and communication?
  8. How does the company ensure that feedback is constructive and actionable?
  9. Are there opportunities for self-assessment and reflection in the review process?
  10. How do reviews in this position differ from those in my current role?
  11. How does the company handle feedback about necessary training or skills development?
  12. What is the company’s philosophy on growth through feedback?
  13. Are there any mentorship or guidance programs in place to address feedback and improve?
  14. Are employees encouraged to provide upward feedback about management and leadership?
  15. How does the company handle negative or critical feedback?
  16. Are there any instances where feedback led to significant changes or improvements in the company?
  17. How is feedback integrated into career development plans?
  18. Does the company encourage open dialogue and regular check-ins outside of formal reviews?
  19. Are there opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback sessions?
  20. How does feedback factor into promotions, raises, or role changes?
  21. How transparent is the feedback process?
  22. Are employees involved in its design or modification?
  23. How are goals and targets set concerning feedback?
  24. Does the company conduct any anonymous feedback surveys or platforms?
  25. How are disagreements or differing opinions handled during feedback discussions?
  26. How does the company ensure that feedback is unbiased and fair?
  27. Are there any resources or tools available to help employees act on feedback?
  28. How do current team members feel about the feedback culture in the company?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I decide if making a lateral move is the right decision for me?

It’s essential to consider these factors:

  • Role interest: Ensure the new position aligns with your career interests.
  • Company culture: Evaluate the department or team’s culture for compatibility.
  • Career progression: Consider the new role’s potential impacts on your career trajectory.

Does a lateral move mean a person won’t get a pay raise?

Not always. While a lateral move is typically at the same level, it doesn’t mean the pay will be the same. Depending on the new role and its responsibilities, there might be a change in salary – either up or down.

Is making a lateral move a good career move?

Yes. Here’s why:

  • Skill development: You get to learn new things and become more versatile.
  • Networking: You meet and work with new people, which can help in the future.
  • Avoiding burnout: Changing roles can bring new excitement and reduce the feeling of being stuck.

Can a lateral move impact my future job prospects?

Yes. It can impact your job prospects positively. The diverse experience and wider skillset gained from a lateral move can make you more appealing to future employers. It shows adaptability and eagerness to learn, which are valuable traits in any professional setting.

How can I talk to my boss about wanting to make a lateral move?

  1. Be clear about your intentions: Know why you want to move. Is it for new skills? More challenge?
  2. Request a meeting: Instead of springing it on them, ask for a specific time to discuss your career path.
  3. Prepare your points: Before the meeting, list down the benefits of your move—not just for you, but for the team and company.
  4. Listen actively: Be ready to listen to their feedback, concerns, and suggestions.



Switching lanes in your career journey can be refreshing and rewarding. Remember, it’s not just about moving; it’s about moving smart. With the right questions in your pocket, you’re all set to make the best decision for your future. Best of luck!

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