Becoming a Manager Series – Part 2

October 06, 2020

Campaigning for the Next Management Role

Once you’ve decided you want to go into management, now you need to know how to get the job.

First piece of advice: don’t assume that the people you report to know that you want to become a manager. I hear it all the time, “I am never considered for management positions.” Well, have you told anyone you want to be considered for management? If you have not, here is what you should do:

  • Set time with the manager you report to and let them know you want to be considered for the next available management position.
  • Ask them how they got in that position.
  • Ask if and when they think another position will be open.
  • Ask them what they would need to see from you to feel confident that you would make a good manager for the company and why. Ask for specifics and make a list to track your progress.
  • Ask them to nominate you and for open positions.

You want your manager to be aware and help guide you. They will also be able to delegate managerial tasks to you so you can get experience working on tasks directly related to the role. No one is going to be able to speak more intimately about your preparedness for a role than the person you are working directly for who is in the position you are trying to get.

Press your manager for specific tasks, accomplishments, and improvements that they need to see from you to make them confident in nominating you for the role. Evaluate the list and make sure you understand the ‘why’ behind each of the tasks. This list should act as a benchmark list that you can measure, check off, and ask for help on when necessary. The list will be the map and you should record your progress all along the way so you can demonstrate it in an interview.

You should also set meetings with other members of your management team.  The goal for these meetings are the same as the meeting you had with your direct manager. Gather information about what they would like to see and  corroborate the list, add items, and expand upon your items. The goal here is to campaign for yourself with other members of your management team and get specific directions from them. This will also get you more attention from leadership and more opportunities to showcase your preparedness.

On your path forward, make sure you involve members of the management team and keep them up to date on your progress, ask for their insight and help, and highlight your wins. This is a great way to build rapport with the leadership team. It will also start a working relationship with them so when you do get the role they will be pulling for you to succeed and more likely to help and mentor you.

Don’t forget that you still have a job to do and hitting quota is still your primary objective. If you are not hitting your quota – even if you are doing a million other things right – you are going to get overlooked. The additional tasks should be done only after your job is complete. That means that you will have to put in some extra effort and time to show you mean business. That extra effort and time is not something that goes away once you get the job either.

Lastly, if you help members of your team, ask them to write you a quick blurb about what you did for them and what that helped them accomplish. Again, you want to build a case for the hiring managers that you are the best fit for the job. If you can get other members of management to campaign for you, you have testimonials from members of the team you have helped, and you have evidenced your progress towards the role, you will be able to make a very strong case for the next opening… because you are already doing it.

Next week, we’re going to talk about strategies to develop managerial skills while in your current position.