Make the Leap to Management

A lot of people want to be managers, but finding an employer that is willing to give you your first management job can be tough.  Here are some tips that will help you persuade an employer to give you a chance:

Identify leadership opportunities within your own role.  Even if you’re not a manager, there are probably opportunities within your job to take the lead.  If you lead teams, projects and committees with impressive results, it’s not a big stretch to picture you in a management role.

Find volunteer opportunities.  Don’t underestimate the value of volunteer opportunities.  Any position that puts you in a leadership role, whether managing a budget as a member of a board of directors, or being in charge of a soccer team helps you develop transferable skills that you can bring to a management job.

Focus on technical manager positions.  There are different types of management roles; some have people who report to them and some don’t.  If you have strong technical skills, it may be easier for you to get a position where you are managing processes, but not people.  After you’ve worked as a technical manager, becoming a people manager isn’t as much of a leap.

Network.  Nobody wants to take a chance on a stranger and why should they?  When you are trying to reach a higher level in your career, you need to rely on your connections.  Even without management experience, if they employer knows that you are a good person who does good work, they might be willing to give you an opportunity.  The key is to get out there and meet people.

The possibility of growing your career is exciting, but when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut it can be equally frustrating.  Stay focused on your goals and when an opportunity presents itself, be ready to take it.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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