Like most professionals, you probably have a clear picture of what your career progression should look like. This runs from your first job, to when you get that management position and possibly a corner office.
Unfortunately, not everyone gets to join C-suite.
How do you prove that you are ripe for a managerial position? Here are a few tips to help push you up the corporate ladder.
Become a Problem Solver
Problem-solving and decision making are a huge part of what managers do.
To get closer to your coveted position, you need to start showing that you are capable of handling the job.
One way to do this is by showing that you can identify challenges and take the initiative to provide well-thought-out and creative solutions.
If for example, your company website’s traffic data shows that the numbers are dwindling, you can formulate a social media strategy aimed at popularising the website.
In such an instance, you will go to your supervisor with a solution to the problem you have identified.
Do the same goes for internal problems, and your initiative and commitment is unlikely to go unnoticed.
Show Your Commitment to Self-Improvement
Employers always want to keep proactive employees who are committed to learning new skills.
Think of it this way. If you are hiring, you would want an employee with the latest industry knowledge and one that is continuously seeking to learn better ways of doing things.
As you eye a promotion, strive to become this employee.
Learn as much as you can about the organisation and get to know what other roles outside your position entail. For example, if you are in sales, get to know how the product development team works and the processes involved.
Similarly, look for willing mentors in management that can give you pointers or suggest helpful courses that can create a path for you to become a retail or a supply chain manager or any other management position.
As you try to widen your scope, ensure that you are performing exemplarily well at your current role.
The reason behind this is simple. If you are already slacking at your current job, it would be a mistake for management to give you a bigger role.
Therefore, take the time to focus and perfect what you are doing now, as this will be a significant selling point for the move to management.
Similarly, be professional in your dealings. Demonstrate a good work ethic, be punctual, keep deadlines, remain courteous to fellow employees. Also, avoid getting mixed up in gossip and petty office politics.
In essence, you want to package yourself as a reliable and trustworthy person that both your superiors and peers can approach when need be.
Think about it. At the point where you feel ready for a promotion, several of your colleagues will be thinking in the same line.
This calls for being proactive and doing things that separate you from the pack. One way of doing this is by highlighting your leadership qualities.
And you don’t have to look far to identify such opportunities.
You can pick a project you are confident about and choose to steer it from start to finish. You can also take on smaller tasks such as offering to lead the office party planning team or a team-building initiative.
Pick something that you will execute flawlessly, and that paints you in the best light possible.
The reality is that despite your best efforts, it may sometimes take longer than expected for your career to progress as anticipated.
However, try and remain focused, do the best you can, improve your skills, and stay on the look-out for new and better opportunities.