Driven and goal-oriented millennials are always looking for the next step to get ahead in their careers. For quite a few jobs, a position in management is the next step up on the career ladder, and getting that promotion — especially for younger millennials — can be difficult. But it’s not impossible.
Not everyone is meant for management, but if you feel it’s something you seriously want to pursue, there are certain qualities and skills you need to stand out and showcase to the powers that be before you turn in your resume. Managers must deal with a lot of different people, situations, and challenges, and must do so with poise and determination.
Here are some tips to help you land that management position.
Be a Self-Starter
An important quality that every manager should have is being a self-starter. The ability to take charge and get things done is vital for someone whose job it will be to give direction to others to make sure projects and work get done.
Successful self-starters have a natural drive to take on not only their own work, but extra work they see that needs to get done, adopting projects and assignments as their own. They know how to communicate assertively yet respectfully, and tend to only ask permission when necessary; they know what they need to do to get things done, and within the parameters of their abilities.
If you are currently working for the company you wish you move up in, make sure your current superiors take notice of your self-starter attitude. Finish your projects and assignments in a timely manner, then seek out what you can get started on next. Taking initiative and showing that you understand your company’s needs is a surefire way to get you on your hiring manager’s radar.
Teamwork does come hard to some people, especially those who are ambitious enough to actively pursue promotions; their take-charge attitude tends to also make them incredibly independent, and perhaps just a little on the controlling side. You may be hoping to lead the team, but taking the time to understand the value of teamwork is an important part of being a manager.
On a team, coworkers are able to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and can use that information to best assign tasks and get the job done. It also fosters an air of togetherness within departments, and the company as whole, when everyone is working toward a common goal rather than vying for a spot as top dog. Ultimately, working together to meet deadlines gives everyone a sense of accountability, and also helps reduce individual stress when everyone knows they can rely on each other.
By knowing the value of teamwork and practicing it daily in your workplace, you will be able to demonstrate your willingness to work with others to those who are in charge of promotions. You’ll also get to know those who you could ultimately be managing and will be able to divvy out task assignments and responsibilities with confidence that they’re what best suits their strengths. Most importantly, you will learn the best and most unique ways to motivate your team when everyone is needing a little extra encouragement.
Foster Workplace Culture
A common phrase you see in many millennial career blogs: workplace culture. You see it so often because we are starting to understand how much the culture of a company can affect someone’s happiness at their job; in fact, many millennials are seeking out jobs at companies specifically for their culture in hopes they will find a good match to their personal working philosophies.
If you hope to land a position as a manager within your company, you need to embody the culture that your workplace has adopted. Workplace culture involves many different aspects of a company, from its organizational model to the kind of people and personalities the company chooses to hire.
A common culture focus among companies is what kind of extracurricular activities they get involved in, and it’s in this aspect that someone hoping to show their dedication to their job and their fellow employees can really stand out. If you are hoping to show off your potential for management, take charge of a cultural activity you care about and demonstrate your leadership skills. It could be a donation drive for a local non-profit, or it could be employee-appreciation picnic — whatever it is, make sure you put your all into making it the best it can be. Putting together an activity that involves the help of several people will put into practice organizing needs, delegating tasks, and keeping track of progress to ensure a successful outcome.
Getting a job in management is no easy task, but if you are determined and up for the challenge, it is definitely doable. Millennials are some of the most versatile and adaptable people out there, and with enough ambition and thoughtful action, you’ll be climbing the career ladder and getting that promotion as a manager in no time.