Making a Sideways Move: Publishing Edition

Hello, welcome back to a publishing post written by me! Today we’re going to talk about sideways moves and why they’re not always a bad thing. This topic has been on my mind for a little while, as I recently made a sideways move of my own into a new team within the academic department at OUP. It wasn’t really a willing move, due to a company restructure, but as a person who was leaving their old role due to feeling stagnant and unable to grow it was welcome news.

I was going to make this post about the differences between my old role and my new one, and I’ll still be doing that, but I wanted to first touch on why this isn’t always a bad career move. A Sideways move definitely doesn’t come with as much kudos as a promotion, I didn’t get to make a cute Twitter bio change to tell the world, but what I did do was make a positive change that is definitely going to benefit my career. So here’s why I think my sideways career move was one of the best decisions for me, and hopefully, it’ll give you some food for thought when considering your own career path.

  • The whole stagnant thing: I wrote a big long post called When to Quit over the summer, discussing how disillusioned I was with my role and that I had been planning on leaving the industry because of it. I was missing key experience that I needed to advance, and I was trapped in a role that I no longer let me grow. By moving across into my new team working with our Online Products, we’ve already managed to plug some of these gaps in the first three months and I’m hopeful that we’ll hit the rest soon. This means that I’ll get the experience I need, and have the advantage of working on both our print and online lists!
  • Burnout: This is kind of covered above but sometimes a role sucks the life out of you, and you need something to reignite that passion that you had when you were new to the industry. This is definitely something I was dealing with, and it meant that I was going through the motions instead of really challenging myself as I had been originally. This new job has allowed me to really push myself again, and the challenge of learning so many new things has been so welcome.
  • More Experience: I’ve found, as I attempted to make a move up the career ladder, that one of my major feedback points post-interview was my lack of campaign experience. This is something that I already knew I was lacking, due to a variety of reasons that I won’t go into, it was something my manager was struggling to get me. Campaign experience is so important when stepping up into an executive role, and I was completely stuck. In that sense this role has been perfect, already I’ve been given more responsibility than my previous role due to the team being smaller; this smaller team is also the reason that I should be picking up the campaign experience I need by the end of the year!
  • The Challenge: I was so desperate for something new that I was intending to leave the industry I love, so this move came at exactly the right time. It’s really pushed me to grow not only as a marketer but also has really developed my coding skills. I know there’s even more to come so that makes me all the more excited about my future development.
  • Knowledge of the Industry and Company: This one probably only applies to those making internal moves, but this move has allowed me to get my hands on a whole other part of my company. With the push to digital, I’m in a great position to be at the forefront of the academic industry, as it moves away from print and into a more digital age and that sure is something to be excited about. I’m also working with wider markets now, like faculty and library marketing instead of just marketing to the individual. It’s allowing me to grow into a marketer that not only understands B2C but B2B too!

This definitely doesn’t mean that the move has been the easiest, it’s felt a little like starting from scratch and I still had to do my old job alongside it for a little while; but I think it’s the best thing that could have happened for me. I desperately needed a change and some room to keep growing, and although this job isn’t a promotion I feel like I can really stretch my marketing legs. Feeling challenged and engaged at work is more important than a job title to me, and this move has really reignited my love for this fascinating industry.

Please keep an eye out for my post exploring both my roles, and I’ll talk to you all next time ❤

More Publishing Content from Me
Inside Story | Vintage | Seren | University Wales Press 
First Month Publishing Update | Three Month Publishing Update | Six Month Publishing Update | One Year Publishing Update | Publishing Skills
When to Quit: Publishing Update | Dealing with Rejection 
Two Years in Publishing | Remote Interviews | SYP Podcast ft. Me

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