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Stepping up to Management

Stepping up to Management

If your considering your next career move and that involves the possibility of taking on the responsibility for the management or supervision of others then this is the page for you.

If you're wondering what skills you need, what behaviours you need to demonstrate and how do you gain the experience to demonstrate your potential to take on this role? Then take a look at the information below to help you form a personal development plan to achieve your goal.

GENERAL ADVICE

While it’s easy to get a little side tracked by the offer of an impressive title and increased salary package, moving into management takes some careful consideration. There are some potential personal and lifestyle costs, such as increased daily pressure and longer working hours.

Some questions to ask yourself before you step up to a management role are:

  • Am I comfortable making decisions?
  • Will I enjoy driving a team to succeed?
  • Am I willing to confront people about their behaviour or performance?
  • Am I willing to let my team and the group’s performance become the critical indicator of my own?

If you’re unsure, don’t feel ready to tackle the above scenarios, or feel you’re more motivated by being an exceptional individual performer rather than banking everything on a broader team, a managerial role might not be the best fit for you. Alternatively, you may decide that being a manager simply isn’t part of your personal career goals.

If you decide you are ready to step up and prove yourself to be an effective leader, you’ll need to show your current or prospective boss that you’re ready to take on the additional responsibility. This is especially the case if you don’t have previous experience in a managerial position. Here are some of the skills employers are looking for in their management team:

SOFT SKILLS

When it comes to hiring an effective manager, most employers are looking for soft skills as much as serious technical qualifications and abilities. You can be the highest performing person in your team, but if you’re not a particularly good listener or you don’t buy into the company vision, you’ll be much less likely to be given managerial responsibilities. Other important soft skills include negotiation, time management, delegation, teamwork and communication.

LEADERSHIP

One of the most important soft skills a manager should have is the ability to inspire, direct and lead others. While you’re responsible for managing a team, you can only do this well by being an effective leader. A good leader leads his or her team towards a particular goal or vision, guiding them through challenges and hurdles to achieve a clear objective. Creativity, authenticity and even a good sense of humour are all traits that can assist you to become an effective leader.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL UNDERSTANDING

You don’t need to be an accountant to become a manager. However, managers do need to demonstrate an understanding of administrative processes and basic financial models because they are usually responsible for internal budget allocations.  

Having a clear understanding of these factors will give others confidence in your ability to make the move into management and look after a critical component of their organisation – the employees.

If you already know that these are areas that you could do with developing further then take a look at the Salford Skills section of this learning portal.

Articles and Blogs

Take a look at a few articles that highlight some of the things to consider and the key skills required to make that step and be succesful.

5 Skills you must master before moving up to management - Monster.com

10 Questions to ask yourself - Kellblog.com

How do I get experience when I'm not a manager? - The Balance Careers.com

Convince them your ready - Forbes.com

Video

Take a look at this short video covering just some of the things to consider when taking the step in to management.

Experiences

Have a look through the articles above, answering some of the questions they contain. What gaps in your knowledge or skills set have they uncovered.

Write down 10 things you can do to develop or close those gaps. Discuss these with your manager to explore what opportunities they could help you with. Take a look at the Salford Skills area to explore development resources and opportunities for the specific gaps you have identified.

Volunteer to take on specific tasks or work on projects that will help you to develop the required skills and knowledge.

Get a mentor, someone you admire and displays the qualities you consider to be effective as a manager. Work with them to explore opportunities to raise your skill set and knowledge.

Create work shadowing opportunities to see what other managers do, how they communicate and behave to get great results.

Attend a "Salford Dialogue" event to discover what it means to be a manager at the University and some of the skills and qualities that are required to be successful. Contact us on hr-developstaff@salford.ac.uk to reserve a place.

Suggestions

This is a curated space, so if you find other resources on this topic that you think others may find useful then let us know. Drop us an e-mail to HR-developstaff@salford.ac.uk