Do you want to get into a management role but don’t have any management experience? Are you unsure about how you can position yourself to get it? Sometimes, it just takes a bit of lateral thinking. This is where you can start.
Talk to your manager
One of the most common ways to gain management experience is by taking on a leadership role in your current job or company. First things first, talk to your manager or HR team. Let them know you’d like to move into a management role and ask if they’re able to help with building your management experience. There could be opportunities to move into team leadership or supervisory roles as an interim step.
If your employer knows you have management aspirations – and you have good track record at work – they’ll be happy to help you in any way, they can. Remember that most employers will be willing to invest in employees and support their professional development.
Look outside of the workplace.
Look at ways that you can gain management experience outside of the workplace. If you’re involved with organisations outside of work or you volunteer, then be sure to identify the ways in which your management has contributed. If you don’t have this experience outside of the workplace, then start building it. Volunteer for leadership roles, join a non-profit board, or join a local club. These extra-curricular options build skills that are easily transferred to the workplace.
Have you researched any relevant certifications or courses? Pursuing a qualification in business or management can provide an excellent foundation. Not only do these programmes provide knowledge and skills specific to managing people, but they also often present opportunities to gain hands-on management experience. Perhaps there’s a part-time course through a professional organisation you belong to or an in-house professional development course. Do your research and ask your manager about support for study. Remember that study can also provide networking opportunities and access to mentors.
Get a mentor
Seek out a mentor or coach who has management experience. They can offer guidance, advice, and support on your journey to becoming a manager. Mentors provide valuable insight into management techniques, communication skills and other key competencies.
Gaining management experience requires effort and commitment, but the rewards of acquiring the skills and confidence to effectively lead and inspire others can be invaluable in both personal and professional growth.
Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges, seek out guidance, and embrace any opportunities to build management experience. From taking on leadership roles in volunteer organisations, to participating in leadership development programs, to seeking out opportunities for mentorship or shadowing, you’ll soon be on your way to a successful management career.