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Moving into Management

How do you move into management without prior management experience? #management #business

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Alvaro’s Answer

Hi Andrew,

Very glad to hear you're considering management as a next step for your career! Whilst doing a masters in management can certainly contribute to getting you to a management position, I'm going to provide you with a different path.

Before looking into what management positions might be available to you, I highly suggest understanding exactly why you're interested in management. To spark some thoughts, try to think about the skills needed in management, what sectors/industries would be interesting to you, what the day-to-day of a manager looks like... Many people tend to have a very broad idea of what management truly involves, therefore I highly suggest spending some time to focus on a specific type of management and industry.

Once you've spent some time understanding the different types of management and the departments that could be interesting to you (sales, marketing, IT, etc.), then you'll be able to start researching for companies that would be valuable to explore for career opportunities. Since you have no prior management experience, you'll be able to gain the skills required through internship opportunities or entry-level positions in these companies. Throughout the years you will rise up the ladder, meet and learn from managers that resonate with you (or not!), and start developing an expertise in your job that will sooner or later be worthy of a promotion to a manager position.

Time shouldn't be a concern for you; you will get to a management position if you dedicate yourself to it and are able to identify a suitable company that makes you happy and truly motivates you. If you put a good amount of time and effort to search for a company like this, you're already setting yourself up for success.

Therefore, don't rush into a decision, and instead break things down step by a step to reach your end goal of becoming a manager.

Hope this helps, and I wish you the best for these exciting years!

Alvaro recommends the following next steps:

Understand why management is an attractive path to you.
Focus on a type of management and area/industry that would be interesting to you. Ex.
Find 2-3 companies which you one day would like to be a manager in, and look for internship opportunities there.

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Donnie’s Answer

Furthering your education and your skillset at work can benefit you in the long run when it comes to applying for management positions. Obtaining a degree in your specified field of study will help to better your understanding of the management role along with some of those concepts of budgets, people, and projects. Additionally, there is always opportunity to gain more knowledge at your current position. Even if you are not in your desired current role, you can find ways to connect to other leaders, ask for career stretching opportunities from your current supervisor, and learn as much as you can about each position at the business you are currently at. These types of experiences will help you gain a better understanding of the business world along with a better understanding of how to challenge yourself.

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Laura’s Answer

Great question!

Moving into management depends on the job itself. Some management jobs require you to be an expert in the area your direct reports work as you may be required to train them or handle escalations from customers due to how your direct reports completed their tasks.

Whether being an expert is requirement in your field, you do need to have the following passions and skills for any management job:

  • Leadership courage-doing the right thing at the right time
  • Ability to provide useful, timely feedback
  • Organization
  • Encouraging others to grow
  • Ability to hold people accountable
  • Effectively plan and schedule
  • Coach people to do better
  • Mediate between employees
  • Manage conflict
  • Share vision for the team and how their everyday work can make the vision possible
  • Be okay with the fact you can't be everyone's friend all the time

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akshata’s Answer

Hi Andrew,

You need to have the below

Leadership Qualities

Managers must be good leaders, so in writing your resume, your cover letter and crafting your personal pitch, consider all the ways you already meet these criteria. Traits of a good leader include:

  • Patience
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • The ability to inspire.
  • The ability to motivate.
  • Excellent time management.
  • Proven conflict resolution.
  • The ability to delegate.
  • Team-building spirit.

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Evelyn’s Answer

Hi Andrew,

Moving into management with no management experience can be quite difficult, fortunately, there are masters programs that you can take that specialize in management to help you get the experience without necessarily having been in that role before. For example, the London Business School offers a program called 'Masters in Management'.

Evelyn recommends the following next steps:

Research post-undergraduate studies that will certify you in management.