Succeeding in business management is easier when you have a clear career path and when you have all your ducks in a row.
Not everyone who works in business daydreams about being an entrepreneur. You, like plenty of other workers, might look forward to the comfortable lifestyle of business management. Boasting the big benefits - the salary, the authority, the liberty - without the demands of owners or executives, managers seem to live securely and contentedly, which is exactly what you want from your career.
However, it isn’t always easy to secure the business management position of your dreams. Fewer businesses are promoting from within, which means you must develop a strong strategy and work hard if you want to rise to the easy-going managerial level. As long as you remain dedicated and diligent, the following tips will help you bag that manager job you’ve always wanted.
1. Prepare Your Application Materials
Because fewer companies are helping their own employees rise through the ranks, you should begin your climb by shaping up your application materials. First, your CV should show that you have the ability to make it in management - which might require some preparation on your part.
You should dedicate a few years to menial positions to gain necessary industry experience and consider enhancing your education with an advanced degree in business. The best MBA program will allow you to continue working while you learn leadership skills and business practices, so you can save time on your climb into management. Business school will also bolster your network, helping you connect with professionals that could lead you to bigger and better management opportunities. Yet, even placing those three letters “MBA” on your application materials opens many more doors to managerial positions and higher salaries.
2. Choose the Right Industry
Industries that are currently growing offer more opportunities for promotion and success than industries that are stagnating or surfeit with available talent. For example, you should pursue jobs in the following industries for an easier ride to the top:
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities. More often classified as “lenders,” establishments in this industry lend or facilitate lending to individuals and businesses and need managers to stay organised.
Professional, Scientific, or Technical Services. Encompassing a variety of professions, including accountants, architects, lawyers, and researchers, this industry desperately needs the business management–minded.
Educational Services. Any organisation dedicated to instructing and training requires business managers to guide them toward their goals.
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities. Especially considering the imminent changes to the health insurance marketplace, management opportunities in insurance should increase dramatically in the coming years.
Hospitals. You don’t need to be a health care professional to function as a manager in a hospital setting, but gaining experience in the healthcare field is certainly advantageous.
3. Know the Position Titles
Once you have the credentials and some experience in your desired industry, it is time to start applying for jobs in management. Unfortunately, management positions aren’t always easy to discern. Instead of labelling positions with the easy-to-understand term “manager,” businesses are increasingly couching management responsibilities in confusing tags. While you are searching for management jobs, you should apply for nearly anything that includes these terms in the post title:
4. Necessary Habits of the Successful
Finally, though the information on your CV and cover letter might get you a management job, you need to demonstrate leadership proficiency to sit comfortably in any management position. To do that, you should begin cultivating habits that enhance your success - perhaps by emulating those who have become managers (and more) before you.
For example, you might start waking up early and staying at work later to demonstrate your commitment to your job. You should apply yourself particularly to projects that you can put your stamp on, so you can point to past successes during future management interviews. You could benefit by practicing budgeting, both with personal funds - since many hiring managers check applicants’ credit scores - and business accounts.
To gain industry-specific habits, you should consider getting a mentor. Mentors not only guide you down the path to career success, but they often function as career advocates, helping you locate open positions and promoting you to important professionals. Your mentor could make becoming a manager somewhat easier - but you will still need to try really, really hard to reach that cozy employment point.