How to become a Manager? The career fast-track



Where do you see yourself in the future? Are you thinking of moving up to a manager position?


It might be possible sooner than you think, if you get on the career fast-track.


There are tips that you should know to fast track your career towards management, and to thrive as a manager. Read this:


Tip #1 - Acknowledge that a manager role is different from your previous roles


Being a manager does not mean "doing what you were doing before, but just with a nicer job title and a bigger paycheck". 


The manager's role requires, amongst many other things, a profound change of mindset and perspective: strategic thinking, understanding of the big picture and how it relates to your team, an ability to have a vision and to federate around this vision, the capacity to influence others, to communicate effectively with other managers and with your team, a dedication to anticipating and solving issues.


In other words, being a successful manager in the long term means that you need to accept that you will need to learn new skills and to be sometimes pushed outside of your comfort zone.


The good news is: these skills can be developed and you can learn how to change your mindset to tackle any of these upcoming challenges, for example with our course Transitioning to a Manager Position.


The first step is acknowledgement of the difference with your previous role. The next step is having a plan to bridge the gap.


Tip #2 - Assess your strength and weaknesses for a manager role


A manager role requires a different skillset than the one we typically have as a specialist or technician. So, a self-assessment is a crucial part of your journey towards management.


Ask yourself:

  • What are the skills required to be a manager and that I currently have?
  • What are the skills that I need to develop or improve?

Maybe you are wondering: actually, what ARE the skills required to be a manager? 


Don't worry, we've got you covered: the Leadership Competency Matrix, developed by Kerr Noll consultants, allows you to assess yourself against the skillset of a manager.


Once you know which skills you need to develop, then it's the right moment to get to your roadmap.


Tip #3 Develop your career roadmap


Sit down and fill in your career development  plan:

  • What are your goals in the short term (less than 1 year), medium term (1 to 5 years from now), long term (6 to 10 years from now)?
  • What is your strategy to get there? (Training courses you would like to attend, experience you would like to develop, what is your action plan to bridge the gaps)

You can download our free Career Development Plan template to get started on this as soon as possible.


Include a timeline for each action of your development plan, and hold yourself accountable for it.



Tip #4 Learn how to avoid the most common mistakes and pitfalls


When you take on a manager's role, your path is filled with hurdles: 

  • How to get the respect of others?
  • How to build your credibility in this new role?
  • How to convince top management?
  • How to influence others to collaborate?
  • How to find the right posture with your new team?
  • How to manage your relationships with each team members?
  • How to be respected and recognised?
  • How to achieve the expected results? 
  • How to avoid pitfalls and avoid failure in this new role?

A lot of newly appointed managers have had to go through painful mistakes, as they were thrown in the deep end, with little hand-holding, support or guidance from their organisation.


There is a way to be on the right track from the start (and if not from the start, as soon as possible): attend courses and workshops that will help you find your solutions to these common issues. Learn, in the safe environment of a classroom, how to deal with these situations so that you gain the confidence you need to then tackle these in your real life work environment.


Nothing works better than actual practical workshops to learn these techniques, and this why our Transitioning to a Manager Position course includes many workshops and "leadership laboratories" where you will learn how to resolve the complex situations that a manager role brings.

Tip #5 Learn how to convince your manager that you deserve that role

After following tips 1 to 4, you now know where you want to be and what you need to learn to be credible in that new role.


Now, how do you convince your manager that you deserve a manager role?


It all starts with building up your credibility. For example by:

  • Always delivering on time, with the right quality
  • Being truthful and forthcoming
  • Being proactive
  • Being an efficient problem solver
  • Adding value to your work on a daily basis by not only doing the minimum required, but by increasing the perceived value of what you do

You also need to learn the manager's "language": you need to speak the same language if you want to be heard. This is a topic that we talk a lot about in our courses "Certified Lead Document Controller" and our "Transitioning to a Manager Position". 


You will find that your conversations with your managers are much more meaningful and successful if you learn how to get your point across.


A great way to show that you would like to be considered for a manager role is also to demonstrate your abilities as a team leader: the ability to plan the work to be done, to calculate workload, to communicate with your team effectively, to raise and manage a budget, to report progress skillfully to your management.


"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail"


"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail": this quote from Benjamin Franklin illustrates perfectly the attitude you need to get when you are preparing your next career move.


You can wait for it to happen on its own, and you may be lucky.

But you might also be waiting for a very long time...


Surely you would rather make it happen. And to make it happen, as we have seen, there is a path to success, but it requires preparedness, the willingness to learn and reinvent oneself, and the desire to be ready when your time comes.


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Course "Transitioning to a Manager Position" is a proven way to get your career on the right track.


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