Want to take your career to the next level? Perhaps you’re ready to lead a team and become a manager. If you’re unclear about how to set yourself up to score your dream position, think carefully about the following.
1- Evaluate and adjust your mindset
A good manager has certain personality traits, and employers are well aware of them. Managers lead by example and are able to bring out the best in their team. Effective managers tend to possess a high degree of emotional intelligence, are team-oriented, are able to be the “rock” that people depend on, and are aware of their own shortcomings. If you want to be a manger, ask yourself:
Am I honest and understanding?
Am I adaptable?
Am I dependable?
Am I goal oriented?
Am I organized?
Do I have the ability to inspire people?
Do people feel comfortable talking to me?
Can I admit when I’m wrong?
You might not have every single key personality trait that makes the perfect manager, but you can certainly work on cultivating the right attitude.
2- Sell your attitude, not just your skills
Speaking of attitude, it’s important to show that you’ve learned what it takes to be a leader over the years, and that you’re keen to learn more. Anyone can learn new skills and software, but not everyone is able to set goals, measure results, and delegate tasks. Many companies are looking to hire managers with experience, but might consider candidates who have the right attitude and personality, and who can showcase a documented history of teamwork and leadership.
“We worked with an employer who was unsure about a candidate who was applying for the role of an IT Operations Manager. The HR associate took a chance and hired him. He had demonstrated results and leadership in his previous roles, and shared that he volunteered as a coach who led a kid’s soccer team to the championships each year – he knew a thing or two about managing tasks, schedules, and leading people. It was his attitude and life skills that got him the job even though he was missing certain credentials.” – Sarah Groom of Groom & Associates Recruiting.
3- Identify your transferable skills
Transferable skills refer to your abilities and aptitudes learned in a role, department, or industry that can apply to other areas of your life. For instance, people with backgrounds in psychology and career counselling sometimes end up being very effective in HR roles due to their abilities to assess people and solve interpersonal relationships. They might not have previous experience managing payroll, but they can help employees find their place in a company.
Even if you’ve never been a manager, you might have had similar kinds of responsibilities in other jobs. Identify them and communicate them precisely!
4- Properly research the position (and ones similar to it)
It goes without saying, but you should know why you want to be a manager and what it entails. Before applying for a managerial job, and especially before the interview, ask someone with a similar position what challenges they typically face, and what has helped them overcome daily issues. This kind of insight is important to keep in mind when you’re being assessed.
5- Act like the manager that you wish you were
No, that doesn’t mean you can start bossing people around, but it does mean you can volunteer to lead a project. Prove to your superiors, peers, and future employers that you’re able to take on more responsibility. Managers care about their jobs and about their team – something all employees can do no matter where they are in their career.
If you’re debating on whether or not a more managerial role is right for you, keep this in mind: managers might have higher salaries and more prestige, but they have greater responsibilities to the company and to their team. It is a position that requires you to give more of yourself, not take more for yourself. It’s all in the attitude!
This article was written by Miriam Groom, VP of Sales and Marketing at Groom and Associates, a Canadian recruitment agency specialized in headhunting and HR consulting.