Moving into a management role is a career goal for many. As well as better compensation, it can offer opportunities to develop new skills, mentor younger professionals and explore exciting projects. Management jobs can involve managing people, projects, money or all three. As managers typically perform both supervisory and leadership roles, becoming a manager takes planning and preparation. In this article, we talk you through 6 steps to help you get there.
Step One: Research
Before applying for a managerial position do some research and preparation. Find out what managerial roles exist in your industry and specialism. Find out what essential skills are required and what the typical salary ranges are. This will ensure you are well informed about what to expect and what employers look for in a manager.
Some methods you could use in your research include:
- Reading professional articles
- Reviewing job descriptions and job advertisements
- Speaking to a career advisor or specialist recruitment consultant
- Observing the behaviour and actions of current managers or have an informal chat with them
- Shadowing more senior members of staff
Step Two: Assess your own skills and capabilities
The next step is to engage in a self-assessment. Compare your strengths and areas for growth to those expected. This will help you set realistic expectations. It will also give you a firm foundation to start your preparation. To complete a self-assessment, you could review your past performance reviews or ask a trusted colleague or your line manager for honest, constructive feedback. Key skills to consider are:
- Problem solving – Can you stay calm and quickly identify a step by step solution?
- Ability to mentor others – Are you able to effectively support career growth in your colleagues or direct reports?
- Dependability – Can people trust and rely on you?
- Team building – Can you build and maintain a strong and collaborative team of individuals?
- Integrity – Do you make ethical choices and help the company maintain a positive image?
- Decisiveness – Are you able to use your experience to make decisions quickly?
Step Three: Set actionable goals
Step 3 is to set specific and measurable goals that encourage advancement in your career. If your company or manager doesn’t have a specific framework for you to set goals in your job, you might consider setting your own career goals. When setting your goals, be sure to follow the SMART goal framework:
- Specific – Make your goal as clear and detailed as possible
- Measurable – Define how you will measure success
- Achievable – Work to understand the full scope of your goal ahead of time to ensure it is possible to accomplish.
- Relevant – Set goals that align with your values and contribute toward your long-term goals.
- Time-based – Set a beginning and end date
Step Four: Communicate with your current employer
It can be very valuable to express your managerial aspirations to your own line manager and possibly other managers within your organisation. A great time to do this would be at your annual review meeting. They can provide honest feedback about your readiness, as well as suggest ways to develop your skills before applying. They might even give you new projects or offer insight into their own experience as a manager.
It is also recommend that you communicate with human resources and make them aware of your aspirations to move into management. There may be training and development opportunities they can offer to help prepare you for management.
Step Five: Prove your ability
A critical step on your way to becoming a manager is start behaving like one. Demonstrate to your line manager and colleagues that you have the skills to be a successful manager. This allows you to gain direct experience and it shows initiative. There are both direct and indirect ways to show your worth when pursuing a manager position:
Direct – Adding specific, measurable achievements to your CV.
Indirect – You can model the communication and problem-solving skills that companies expect in a manager by speaking up in meetings, sending clear notes and follow-up steps from team meetings or offering creative solutions to challenges.
Step Six: Apply for Management Roles
Ideally you will have the opportunity to move into a managerial role within your current organisation. Apply for any suitable opportunities that arise and don’t give up if you are not successful at the first attempt. If this happens ask for feedback on how you might develop your skills and experience for the next time.
It’s not always possible to move into a management role with a current employer. There may not be any suitable openings or you may simply be overlooked or unsuccessful. If this happens you may choose to look externally. If you do this be aware that businesses usually look for evidence of management ability and potential. Anything you can demonstrate on your CV to show leadership potential will be advantage. This this might even be outside the working environment for example leading a sports team or society.
If you work in the automotive industry and want to progress your career into management Copeland can help. We specialise in sales and marketing jobs in the automotive industry. By carefully selecting the right jobs for our candidates we help them find their next move. Our focus is to help employees throughout their automotive industry career. Learn how we help employees HERE. Register your CV with us HERE.
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