Everyone has the chance to climb the management ladder if they have the drive, ambition and passion to take the first step. If you’re aspiring to greater seniority, even up to board level, here are some basic tips to help you on your way.
Take the initiative
Managers should have the vision to spot opportunities that are likely to arise in the future. Focus on possible openings and make your superiors aware of the potential they offer with the aim of agreeing on an action plan.
Work on small tasks over and above your normal duties. Gradually increase your workload, and also offer to help your superiors handle some of their priorities. This may add value to your team and department, improve your reputation and make you stand out for advancement.
Develop allies in the company
The old adage "it's not what you know, but it’s who you know" still stands true in many organisations, particularly with senior roles relying on reputation. Take time to cultivate key relationships both within and outside your organisation. Have career goals and share them with your superiors. Taking time to work with those above you can provide the experience required to understand how they perform and guide upper-level management tasks.
Communication holds the key to progress
Communication is key to how you are perceived as a leader. Make sure you are clear in the information you relay to those you deal with - your bosses, your team and other employees.
Concise, original and positive reports will in particular be appreciated by your superiors and will help foster good relationships. Combining this with an ability to connect to your team and other workers will also be noticed by those at a higher level.
Always keep learning
Continual learning is vital to leaders planning to rise further up the management ladder. As technology advances and the workplace becomes more automated, managers will need to keep their finger on the pulse so as to know the latest trends, technologies and skill requirements impacting their industry. This doesn’t necessarily require formal training, just an open mindset and independent research.
Your journey up the management ladder is ongoing, and there’s always an upwards or lateral move you can make. If you would like to have a confidential conversation about your next move, please contact your local consultant.
About this author
Beginning life in 1968 with just a handful of employees, Hays how has over 7,800 recruiting specialists worldwide, including 1,800 in the UK. Our consultants are experts in their field, helping professionals advance their careers, and organisations find the right talent.