Are you in a job that seemed exciting when you first took the offer but has now lost its appeal? Maybe you enjoyed the challenge it presented at the time, but now you feel like you’ve done it all. This is a natural thing to happen, and it is often part of climbing the career ladder. You may now be at the point where you are eyeing a management position but you’re not sure how to make that leap and land a job.
Then again, maybe you haven’t yet set out on your career path and you know you want to start in a management position rather than work your way up. If that’s the case, proper planning will be necessary. Preparing yourself for a management role requires several steps to be taken. These steps will help you to have the cutting edge over the competition, and ensure you’re able to handle the job and the responsibilities. They will also help you to show potential employers just how much of an asset you will be.
Let’s take a look at how you can prepare yourself for a management role.
Pursue A Masters To Better Prepare Yourself
While experience will help you to climb the career ladder and land a management role, having educational backing can be pivotal. A Masters is highly regarded and the moment you can add it to your resume, you can expect to be viewed in a different light. In terms of a management position, the Masters in Strategic Leadership from SBU Online can be a perfect option.
This program specifically addresses the issues that managers face today, making sure you’re primed and prepared to take on any challenge. You’ll learn how to best communicate, encourage innovation, use strategic thinking skills on the job, figure out how to improve the team atmosphere in an organization, and change and modernize the course of management.
Some of the jobs this master can lead to include:
- Marketing manager
- Community relations manager
- Project manager
- Human resources director
- Director of operations
- General manager
- Director of logistics
It’s quite all-encompassing, which also means you have many opportunities, not just now, but in the future, should you decide to change careers.
Update Your Resume
It’s also a good idea to update your resume, including all your current skills and experience. This can help shed light on what areas you excel in, as well as the areas in which you may need a little extra training and experience.
Speak To Your Boss Or HR Representative About Your Goals
If you already work for a company that offers the opportunity to promote from within, it will be important to talk to your boss or HR representative about your goals. Let them know what your career plans are, what you bring to the table, and that you’re serious about moving up the ladder. You can also speak to them about what you need to do to make it happen, what you need to learn, and what on-the-job training may be available.
Embrace Opportunities Whenever They Arise
It should come as no secret that, to work your way up the career ladder, it will take just that – work. This means putting in the extra hours and overtime, saying yes to extra responsibilities, offering to spearhead projects and tasks, coming forward with creative and effective ideas, and just generally making yourself known and an important part of the company.
Hone Your Communication Skills
Any effective manager will tell you that a big part of the job is communication – listening, speaking, and writing. While this may come naturally for some, for others they will need to work a little harder at perfecting their communication skills. You don’t want to wait until you’re in a management position to improve those skills, as that will be too late. Now is the perfect opportunity to take initiative and become a better communicator.
Some of the ways you can improve your communication skills include:
- Being an active listener, which means you are quiet, you listen to the person talking, you stay in that moment, and react appropriately. You can do this in your personal life as practice – it doesn’t have to just be at work.
- Try recording yourself speaking. Do you sound confident? Are you clear and concise? Do you speak in a commanding voice? There are likely many ways you can improve how you speak. Again, this is an exercise you can practice at home.
- Make it a habit to communicate more often. You never want to assume people know what you mean and what you want – communication must be clear.
- How well do you handle feedback? Feedback can be a tough pill to swallow for some, but there is no reason to take it so personally. Both positive and negative feedback can help you to be a better communicator.
- Learn how to keep your emotions in check, as you always need to appear cool, calm, and collected in the workplace.
Find A Mentor Or Role Model
Many people find it helpful to find a mentor or role model that they can look to for advice, guidance, and support. Even if you just want to bounce thoughts and ideas off them, a mentor can be incredibly important. In terms of who to choose, make sure it is someone you respect, who has your dream job, who is a leader in their field, and who has the time and patience to dedicate to you.
Get Out There And Network
Networking is another fabulous way to prep yourself for a management role. The more professional contacts you can make, the more doors can potentially be open to you down the road. It’s all about thinking ahead and thinking of your future.
If you’ve decided that you want to pursue a management role but feel overwhelmed as to where to get started, each of these tips will help you to be a prime candidate. Remember, it will take patience and effort, but it will pay off.