How to Prepare for a Management Role

Mar 2, 2023

Depending on the type and size of your company, it can take years to land your first management role. Fast-growing companies have more opportunities, but they also could be less stable if they grow without a strategic plan. Large corporations that have many levels of bureaucracy might have more middle-management positions available but more rigid rules about who qualifies. Regardless of where you work, these skills will help position you as management material.

Understand the Job

If you have a specific management position in mind, be sure to understand the job’s responsibilities as well as the required qualifications. If you’re planning to look for a job elsewhere, read job descriptions for your ideal position and find the commonalities. Beyond just looking at job descriptions, you can also ask the people currently in those positions about extra work they take on. Reach out on LinkedIn and politely request a coffee chat so that you can hear about their experiences. You can also ask your own manager or other managers in your company for their insights.

Learn Necessary Skills

When reviewing those job descriptions, make note of skills, certifications, and software/app experience that you don’t currently have. Make it a priority to advance yourself in these areas so that you are qualified to lead. There are many free certification programs, particularly for specific software programs and platforms. Make a plan by outlining what you need to achieve and break down the list into action items that will help you achieve your goal.

Observe Other Managers

When you interact with successful managers at your company, pay attention to their actions. How do they respond in meetings? How do they carry themselves? What are their strengths? By observing the things they are doing well, you can model your own actions after them. Just be sure to emulate those who are doing the job right!

Build Your Network

How many of your connections are currently in management positions? If the answer is few, you should look for more people who can help you. Remember those people you were going to contact about their job descriptions and responsibilities? Keep in touch with them so that you can ask follow up questions or reach out for help obtaining your first management role. If you trust your current manager, let them know what you’re trying to achieve so that they can encourage you and help where possible. Remember, some companies will ask you to apply for a job even if you are a current employee, so it’s a good idea to have people on your side who can recommend you. After all, if your manager moves up or moves on, someone will need to take their place!

Work With Confidence

The saying goes that you should dress for the job you want. In this case, you should act like the job you want. Not to say that you should step on the toes of your current manager or boss your colleagues around. But in terms of work product and responsibility, perform at the next level before you get the title. This shows that you are ready and willing to take on more responsibilities in an official capacity. Pay attention to how your work improves and take note of all the new things you are bringing to the table.

Share Your Successes

Along with the increased work you are doing, you should be proud of your achievements and broadcast them as appropriate! If you fly under the radar, no one will know that you’re making improvements and that you’re ready for the next step. Demonstrate your impact during performance reviews, share successes with your connections on LinkedIn, and above all, make sure you include them on your resume!

Written by: Alessandra Cespedes

Subscribe to Employment Expert

Employment Expert Subscribe