Being a manager can be fulfilling and exhilarating; however, not everyone finds this career path suitable. People who become managers merely for financial gain or career advancement typically encounter numerous issues.
Prepare yourself as a candidate for leadership by learning and honing the necessary skills. Seek advice from your boss and other managers when beginning this endeavor.
1. Look for a company that’s growing
Becoming a manager opens up many doors for your career and can be highly fulfilling if done well. But before making this leap, specific points must be considered beforehand.
At first, finding a company with ample room for growth is essential. There may only be so many management positions within any given organization; you need to ensure there is sufficient opportunity for you to advance. Furthermore, look for one that values their employees and provides them opportunities to develop their careers.
Once you’ve identified an expanding company, get to know its leadership team and other managers by attending as many meetings as possible – this will allow you to form relationships that could later help when applying for promotions or seeking raises. Attending as many of these meetings as possible is also wise to gain a complete picture of its operations.
Before embarking on your management career, make sure you are genuinely interested. Earning more pay may tempt some people, but if working with others does not bring true satisfaction, becoming a manager may not be your ideal career path.
2. Read books
Reading books about management is an effective way of increasing knowledge. These texts will enable you to comprehend managers’ challenges better and offer tips on overcoming them.
Mark McCormick’s book The First-Time Manager can significantly benefit new managers. It sets expectations and dispels various myths surrounding management roles while offering practical advice for becoming an effective leader and developing strong teams.
Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is another popular management book using a leadership fable to explore common problems associated with building an effective team. Additionally, this work outlines vital traits necessary for an excellent manager and critical tools and self-assessments designed to assist new managers in avoiding making costly errors.
Julie Zhuo’s The Making of a Manager is another helpful management book for new supervisors. Drawing upon her experiences as a young leader at Facebook, this book offers guidance and advice for new supervisors who face unique challenges – such as giving constructive feedback or dealing with office politics.
Leaders Eat Last is a leadership book that emphasizes creating an environment of trust and collaboration among employees. The book details how great managers use their strengths to foster an atmosphere in which everyone feels secure in their work environment, allowing employees to focus their energy on both productivity and the entire organization’s success.
3. Ask for advice
Becoming a manager opens up new possibilities and can lead to higher pay, but before leaping, you must invest the time into honing your management skills first. Managers are expected to coach and teach their teams – so if you need advice from someone already managing, seek guidance.
Be honest when approaching someone for advice. Instead of simply trying to pick their brain or “picking their pocket, ” explain that you admire their leadership style or they’ve accomplished something you would like to achieve yourself. This gives the other person a clear purpose for reaching out, setting expectations about what they can expect from the interaction.
Select people who have experienced something similar to what you’re experiencing and can give actionable advice. Pre-vet them through acquaintances such as mutual friends; this makes it much easier for them to agree to an introductory call or meeting and shows your dedication in asking. If this method doesn’t work, reaching out to friends of friends can often yield great success in finding advice-giving dialogues.
4. Take initiative
Becoming a manager opens up an exciting, challenging, and often higher-paying career path. However, it requires hard work and the development of new skills if you want to become one – so if that is something you wish to pursue seriously, then begin taking the initiative right now!
Here are a few strategies for doing that:
Speak up. If something doesn’t seem to be working in your department or company, tell the appropriate people immediately, or better yet, use problem-solving skills to fix it yourself! Doing this will prevent future errors while showing that you’re thinking strategically.
Volunteer for extra projects. If your coworker has difficulty meeting their quota, offer to step in and assist, demonstrating that you care about helping them meet their goal. By volunteering extra work on top of what’s already been scheduled, you show that your care about their success and want them to achieve it.
Accept challenges with open arms. Accept complex tasks–and learn from any mistakes. Managers should adopt an “all hands on deck” mentality; thus, it’s vital that as much can be gained from experiences gained along the way.
Regularly connect with managers and mentors along your career journey who can provide an unbiased perspective and feedback on your performance. They can also connect you with learning opportunities that will assist in furthering your career – formal training courses or management coaching programs can all assist in making the jump into management faster and getting off to a great start!
5. Work on your communication skills
Becoming a manager opens up a world of opportunity, often including higher pay. But without developing the necessary skillsets first, promotion may prove elusive.
Communication skills are one of the cornerstones of successful management, including verbal exchanges, listening skills, and nonverbal cues. You will become a more efficient leader by dedicating yourself to developing these essential abilities.
Your communication skills can be strengthened by taking classes, reading books/magazines, seeking mentorship opportunities, and attending events. And just because you’ve entered management doesn’t mean your skills won’t be scrutinized by coworkers, supervisors, and clients/customers – being an outstanding communicator is never complete!
Mentoring another team member is another way to hone your communication skills. From interns to senior staff members, mentoring shows that you care about others’ success and are willing to assist them with growth. Mentorship is one trait most good managers possess that’s often recognized and rewarded through promotions.
6. Take on a mentorship
One effective way to establish yourself as an effective manager is through mentoring relationships. Mentorship allows you to demonstrate that you’re ready for leadership roles and possess the necessary skills for effectively leading people; plus, it provides you a great chance to discover more about yourself and develop your leadership style.
As with any mentoring relationship, set clear expectations from the outset with your mentee. Be sure to discuss meeting frequency and goals for this relationship; Corliss suggests a minimum two to three-month timeframe so that they receive enough support from you.
Your mentee should also tell you what they want from their mentorship experience, from helping them navigate a stressful situation to offering feedback on their performance. Plus, using mentorship as an opportunity to practice coaching skills–an integral component of management.
Be mindful that becoming an effective manager takes hard work and patience – on average; it typically takes six to eight years before employees gain enough experience to become managers in their industries. Be patient as you develop your career over the long haul – it will pay off!