At a certain point in most people’s careers, the thought of managing other employees eventually comes up. However, while pursuing a management position may seem like a logical decision for the candidate, the same isn’t always true for a potential employer.
Entry-level management positions can be difficult to find, especially ones that don’t require previous managerial experience. But how can you gain leadership experience when you’re not given the opportunity to manage other staff members? Here are three ways you can gain the experience required to move into a managerial role:
Set Goals and Share them with Your Boss
Setting short- and long-term goals will help both you and your manager identify more opportunities for your professional growth. By sharing the vision of your ideal career path, it not only will help your managers see that professional development is important to you, but it will also prove that you’re serious about sticking around at the company. Both of these signs make it easier for employers to realize that you’re mature enough to handle larger roles within the organization.
Volunteer to Lead a Project
Good managers are known to be go-getters who actively look for opportunities to improve themselves and their employees. Volunteering to take on more responsibilities can be a great way to acquire some of the skills necessary to manage a department effectively. When a new project comes up, ask if you’re able to be a team leader and help to organize certain deadlines and deliverables with other employees. Making yourself more accountable to the organization will help establish your value as an employee and make it more likely that you receive similar assignments in the future. Taking on more responsibility also helps you step out of your comfort zone, giving you the ability to develop new skills and learn how to make decisions for yourself and your team.
Learn How to Listen
Listening may sound easy, but you’d be surprised how many individuals struggle with this necessary business skill. Learning how to be attentive to the needs of your employer and act on them accordingly will help you be a better manager down the road. When managing a team, you need to be able to take direction from company executives and communicate those needs effectively to your staff members. This doesn’t come naturally for many people, but if you can prove that you’re able to take direction and are diligent in following through with your assignments, it can show higher-ups that you have the maturity necessary to actively lead other employees to do the same.
Developing managerial skill sets doesn’t happen overnight and you shouldn’t be discouraged if you’re not qualified yet to receive a management position. By setting goals and displaying a motivated attitude to your employer, you’ll eventually acquire the skills you need to move into a leadership role and continue developing your career path.