How to ready yourself for your first management position

This is it – the role you’ve always wanted, and now it appears to be yours for the taking!

Making the leap into management is a significant career stepping stone and one that can result in a very enjoyable role with plenty of amazing prospects.

I know this, because I’ve done it myself; I worked my way up from ground level staff to become a leader within a department. It was the result of hard work, determination, a tiny dose of luck and the following tactics I’d love to share with you today.

Always look for opportunities to move sideways

There’s a misnomer in business that in order to move into a management position you constantly have to look upwards from your position on the company tree.

In reality, I’ve found that sideways movement opens up far more opportunities to increase one’s level of responsibility.

For instance, if you’re currently stationed in the sales department, who’s to say you haven’t got the necessary skills within you to make it as the marketing manager?

You’ll never know until you broaden your horizons, so keep an eye on job opportunities that open up within your company – no matter the department – and ask yourself if you’re up for the challenge.

Find your role model

We often need a bit of encouragement to make the leap into management, and there’s no better place to find that than by observing a role model.

Think about who you admire in business. Which entrepreneurs have caught your eye or prompted you to adjust your approach to work?

By finding a role model, you’ll gain endless inspiration for your management career. And they don’t have to be famous or of high stature, either; it could simply be the managing director of a partner business.

Learn – constantly

There isn’t a manager on the planet who has perfected the art of management – it’s impossible.

We all need to continually learn if we’re to grow and prosper at work. Thankfully, we live in a world that is chock-full of learning material (most of it free!), therefore you can never have enough blogs bookmarked or YouTube channels subscribed to as you immerse yourself in all things leadership.

Fill in for the boss whenever there’s a chance

If you’ve been employed by the business for a decent amount of time, there’s no harm in asking to fill in for the boss when they go on holiday.

In fact, most managers and directors will welcome the offer of a trusty steed to take their place while they recharge their batteries, and even a short stint at the helm like this will do wonders for your self confidence.

Take on more – but not too much

Learning when to say “no” is an important part of your career development, but if you want to make it as a manager, you’ll need to break that boundary occasionally.

The trick is to say yes to stuff that puts you outside of your comfort zone, but stop accepting more responsibility when it becomes too much. The more you take on, the worse you’ll become, productivity-wise, but if you demonstrate that you’re willing to stretch yourself a little, you’ll soon catch the eye of those above you.

Wrapping up

I loved my time in management, and even though I’ve now opted for life as a freelancer, the time I spent as the leader of a team was some of the most enjoyable of my career.

Are you ready for the next leap?