If you have been in your position for a while, then you may have considered a move into management. However, if you are finding this easier said than done, it may be time to think about your strategy and plan the steps you need to take to realize your ambition. Here are some great ways to get yourself noticed and create opportunities for the advancement you have been thinking about.
Do Your Job Well
It can be easy to get complacent if you have been in your job for a long time, as you may be getting bored and impatient to make a move, especially if you think you may have been looked over for a promotion in the past. However, don’t think that you are wasting time in your current position, as you can turn this to your advantage. Giving yourself time could put you in a much better position for a future promotion rather than trying to rush into it now. Do your job to the best of your ability and you will build up a great reputation among your colleagues and management team. If you are the person people go to if they need to ask questions and are the most reliable member of the team, you will get noticed. Experience counts for a lot when it comes to promotion, so sometimes staying where you are for longer than you may have wanted to be a good thing.
Take on Additional Responsibility
Offering to take on additional responsibility will open a lot of doors for you. Not only will it bring your hard work to the attention of senior management and help you to build up the professional reputation it takes to move into management. It will also teach you to carry out more senior duties and gain experience relevant to the role you want. This will make it easier for you to justify why you should be promoted when the time comes.
Consider your Career Path
As you move up the career ladder you will find that there are lots of directions your career could take you in. For example, a nurse may start in General Nursing but could go on to specialize in research, clinical, or people management. All of these directions could lead to a management position, but they will not lead to the same type of career. Decide on your chosen path early and you can make plans to follow it. These plans may change later as you are offered different opportunities or decide that you would rather go into a different specialism but having an idea of where your career might take you will keep you focused.
If you need certain qualifications to get a job in management then you will not get promoted without them. Once you have decided where your career aspirations are going to take you, it is a good idea to get your qualifications as soon as possible so that this will give you more ammunition when the time comes. It can take a while to complete these qualifications too, so getting them done as soon as you are able could give you the time you need to complete them before the promotion arises. The good news is that you don’t have to give up your career to study. Courses such as an online DNP program will allow you to work and study at the same time. This means that you don’t have to take a salary cut or step away from your career if you want to work towards a management job. It may take a little organization on your part, but it will certainly be worth it.
Work on Your Soft Skills
As well as formal qualifications, you will need to work on your soft skills if you want to get promoted into management. You may be brilliant at what you do but if you can’t work well with people, give clear instructions, and manage well, you are unlikely to get the promotion you want. You can take courses in skills such as communication and leadership, so this is worth considering. Otherwise, there is plenty of information on these subjects available on the internet, so browse through them and brush up on your soft skills. Being able to evidence that you have done this will also stand you in good stead for the promotion you want.
Create a 5-Year Plan
Rather than concentrating on the next year and the next promotion, look further ahead at other opportunities that might be available. It is unlikely that once you have achieved the promotion you are working towards now, you will want to stay here forever, so create a 5-year plan so that you can look at the promotion you are working towards as well as the one after that. This way you are more likely to be able to identify any opportunities that come your way and make the most of them. Of course, this 5-year plan can be changed as you go along. If you decide to specialize in something else or take a career break, for example, you will need to rewrite your 5-year plan. However, knowing where you want to go over that period will help you to get there.
Network within your company and with people in the industry as a whole. The more people you can get to know through networking, the more likely it is that someone will think of you when a promotion arises or let you know about opportunities that are likely to come up in the future. Attending business networking events is a great thing to do as this will help you to build up your contacts list. However, don’t forget that you can network anywhere, so bear this in mind while you are standing in line in the staff cafeteria or waiting for the bus. Perfect your elevator pitch!
Find A Mentor
If you do enough networking, it should not be too difficult to find a mentor who can help you get ahead. Choose someone whose work you admire and learn as much as you can from them. This doesn’t have to be a formal arrangement, but it can be good to have a mentor you can go to if you have any questions or come up against a problem you don’t know how to solve. They may even be able to give you a direct helping hand when you apply for promotion by writing you a reference or putting you in touch with the right person to speak with.
Communicate Your Interest
All this hard work will lead you nowhere unless you communicate your interest to those around you. Don’t be afraid to speak up during your annual appraisal or make your aspirations known to the HR department. You don’t have to make a huge point of it but do let them know where you would like your career to lead you. A good manager or HR department will be instrumental in putting the right opportunities your way if you help yourself by speaking out.
Understand The Whole Company
As a manager, you will be expected to work alongside managers of other departments. This means that you will have to be able to see the bigger picture rather than concentrating on an issue solely from the point of view of the department you are working in. This is in direct contrast to having a non-management position, as you will be much more likely to only have to concentrate on your own department. Getting to know your own company well and understanding the issues other departments have will help you in many ways. Firstly, you will know where to go if you need help from outside your department, it will also help you to network, and you are more likely to be noticed for a promotion. It will also make life easier for you once you have gained your promotion. It is never too early to start trying to see the entire company’s perspective.
Consider A Change of Company
If you have tried all this and you have still been stuck in a rut for some time it may be worth looking for opportunities elsewhere so that you can take your first steps into management. This is where networking outside your immediate company could pay off. If you have spoken to your HR department and line manager and you know that you won’t get promoted soon, look for opportunities elsewhere, as this may give you the step up you are looking for. This is not a suggestion to be taken lightly though, as it will mean leaving behind the reputation you have already built up within your company and having to start again.
Follow these tips if you are looking to move into management. This may not be an overnight process but if you start working towards your goals now and put steps in place to do this, you know you will get there.
Main Photo by energepic.com.