You have sweated for years in the same company. You have worked your way up from entry-level positions. And you know that you are ready to take that final rung on the career ladder; that much-hoped-for step up into a management position.
With hope, your boss will have noticed your efforts already and will give you that promotion you have long been desperate for. But if he doesn't? Well, you're going to have to prove your credentials to him before you start looking for executive jobs outside of your current company.
Here are some suggestions to help you.
#1: Go back to school
Don't wait for your boss to put you on management training courses to elevate your position. If you're serious about moving into management, you need to use your initiative and look for the relevant courses yourself. Be it an online course or something at a local college, check out what is available, and then report back to your boss about what you have found. It might be that he will help you fund the course and give you time away from work to complete the training required, but if not, you should find ways to manage these details yourself. Not only will taking a training course show your boss that you feel ready for management, but as we will discuss in our next point, it will also show that you have what it takes to show initiative.
Of course, you might also go back to school to take courses other than those that pertain to management. Any course that will help you build both your skills and knowledge will help you and the company you work for. And when your boss sees that you have made steps towards self-improvement, and if you give him the impression that you did it for the greater needs of the company, then he might well consider you for the next management position that arises.
#2: Show your initiative
True leaders don't wait to be told what to do. If they see a problem that needs fixing, or if they see a need that hasn't been met, they use their initiative to do what needs to be done.
So, don't always run to your boss every time there is a problem that needs fixing. And don't always run to him every time you are faced with a difficult challenge. Take the initiative and try to come up with possible solutions yourself, as this will showcase to your boss this very important leadership credential.
#3: Look for leadership opportunities
If your boss asks for a volunteer to lead a small team for a project, offer your availability. If your boss asks somebody to train a new group of interns, be the first to raise your hand. And if your boss asks somebody to take the reigns of the business while they are away, be the person that puts themselves forward for the opportunity. As long as you carry out your tasks with hard work and diligence, your boss will see that you are a worthy candidate for a management position.
#4: Be respectful of your co-workers
If your co-workers look up to you, this will show your boss that you have the ability to earn the trust of others, another leadership credential. So, be respectful of the people you work with.
If they have a work-related problem, be there to help and support them. Offer them solutions and encourage their initiative. With your guidance, they can become the best of themselves, so make time for your colleagues when possible.
When there are jobs that need doing, show your colleagues that you have the get up and go to get on with them. This is another way to earn their respect, as if you behaved in a lazy and uncaring manner, and left them to do pick up the slack, you would only make them think less of you.
And don't do anything that would obviously upset them. This means no bullying, no engaging in workplace gossip, and no instances of dishonesty within your working relationships.
Not only will you impress your boss when he sees your workers respect you, but if you ever do attain a leadership position, you will have a ready-made crew of people willing to listen and support you.
By following the suggestions in this article, your boss should sit up and take notice of your leadership credentials. Should a management position then arise, you might be the first person that he thinks about when considering the best fit for the role. And if he doesn't? Well, you could always remind him of the strengths you have shown in the workplace at your next annual review meeting.
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