Are you looking to land your first leadership role at work? If so, obviously your first priority is to be hands-down brilliant in your current role. After all, you won’t be tip of anyone’s promotion list if you don’t deliver where you are currently.
If you’ve got that mastered, there are other ways to show how promotable you are, too. Here, we’ve come up with three steps to take to help you carve a path to your next role.
OK, being an effective team player is vital to succeed in your job. You need to be able to get on with colleagues and work together towards a common goal.
But to get ahead in your career, see how you can stand out from your peers too. Seize every opportunity to learn and practice - plus demonstrate - some budding leadership skills.
Take the leap and take action, however small, when there’s a challenge at work - especially if no one else on your level seems inclined to solve it.
Or if no leader’s been assigned to a group project, be that person. Make it your mission to update the manager, or even lead on the final presentation.
You might have an idea about what management does in your organisation, but how closely are you watching? Set about really studying the management culture. For example, how they act; how they do things day to day; even how they communicate with their team and how they’re seen day-to-day.
The quickest way to get a fuller picture of what management entails? Ask questions, and have conversations. Finding a mentor ticks all these boxes.
We’ve written about how valuable mentors can be wherever you are in your career on the HR GO blog. And when it comes to getting promoted, one plus point is that regularly meeting up with someone with more experience and perspective than you can give you an insight into what’s involved on the next step of your career.
In an ideal world, your amazing work would be recognised instantly and you’d be ushered through for promotion, pronto.
But if you want to be considered for a management position, you’ll probably need to have a conversation with your boss. This could be at your annual review, or in a sit-down meeting.
The very idea of asking for a promotion can make many people feel uncomfortable. So framing it in a more natural way can make this chat easier to tackle. Tell your boss that you’re keen to move into management, and ask that they bear you in mind if they need someone to take on a new side project, or organise a working group or lead a small team.
If you take initiative and are competent handling smaller tasks, your manager will start to see you as a safe pair of hands and someone they can delegate bigger things to. And these are two things that can mark you out as a leader-in-waiting - and a far more likely candidate for the step up into management level.