There are many good reasons to aim for a management role: you want more of a challenge, you have done your time on the tools, or simply a want to make more money. Before making the move, you should know yourself. Are you the type of person who flourishes with more responsibility? Are you willing to be held accountable for another’s work, not just your own? Are you flexible enough for the changes in schedule, location, and covering when other employees aren’t available? And most importantly, do you want to lead a team?
If you answered yes to those questions, then you should definitely pursue management! Read on to see how you can stand out when promotion time rolls around.
Be an exemplary worker
This should go without saying, but if you’re consistently late or cut corners, or leave early, it’s unlikely you’ll be considered a good fit to lead. If you do good work and have your job down pat and ask for more responsibility, that’s half the battle won.
Technology is always changing; are you all caught up with the latest upgrades? Are there skills you know you don’t have but would like to learn? If you’re interested in moving up, talk to your employer about training programs (ideally that you’ve already researched!). See if they will encourage or even reimburse you for completing any courses. A good employer should recognize this as an investment–not a cost.
Work on your people skills
We’re serious. What a lot of people don’t realize about managers is that they’re managing people, not just duties. It’s not just about being friendly and professional—although those are always good blocks to build on. It’s about communicating. Learning how to communicate with those around you is an invaluable skill in any industry. One of the major sources of tension in work (not to mention in life) is the disconnect between expectations and reality. For example, a manager may be ticked when an employee makes a mistake, but all the while, the employee could be sitting in resentment, because they weren’t clear on their task in the first place. Learn how to listen and ask questions, free from your preconceived expectations and defences. That’s what people mean when they say they feel “heard”. Which leads us to…
Does your company hire apprentices or junior workers? Step up and offer to show them the ropes, before you are asked. Taking the initiative can do wonders for your reputation, and will build goodwill among the team.
Talk about it
Finally, if you’re interested in a higher role, tell your employer! Even if there’s not a current position available, you can ask them what it takes to move up in the company.
Essentially, keeping yourself available, enthusiastic, and up-to-date is a solid way to become considered for a management role. If you’re a manager and you have any other tips on what the higher-ups watch out for, leave us a comment below!