Most managers are regular employees who get promoted, but a lot of times that promotion comes with the realization you lack some managerial skills. It’s different being in management, but there are some things you can work on even as an employee that will really help you when that promotion comes.
These skills are actually good to learn no matter what your position is. For instance, a bank teller needs to “act with authority” when explaining why a check bounced — Saying “It looks like you might have not had the funds in your account; I guess maybe that’s why it bounced” with hesitation doesn’t have the same level of authority as “Your account balance was $50.00 short of the check amount when it came into the bank and you don’t have any overdraft protection set up, so an automatic process began. This is what you can do about the situation….”
If you want to be ready to move up into management, start learning what you need to know.
A Checklist of Skills to Learn
learn how to be comfortable having difficult conversations — all managers have to be able to do this because sweeping problems under the rug doesn’t make them go away.
learn how to give feedback the right way — tell people when they are doing a good job, and if something is wrong, say so clearly without hinting around while providing a few reasonable suggestions.
learn how to clarify goals — ask the boss what practical benchmarks are being looked for so everyone can be on the same page. If you can’t measure it, you can’t all reach it.
learn how to act with authority — if the decision is based on policy, say so. If you want someone to do something, don’t make it sound like an option.
Learn how to separate relationships from work performance — sooner or later a manager has to confront a lousy employee and fire them even if that employee is a friend. This is one of the hardest things managers face.
Is Your Resume Ready?
One of the things that will be examined closely when your name comes up as a potential manager is your resume. If you aren’t confident your resume is ready for that examination, the Resume Critique can give you professional feedback and concrete suggestions for making sure you are ready for the next step in your career.
When someone has been been promoted often enough, they know what it takes to advance a career. Marillyn Hewson, who is Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin shares from her experience in 5 Habits That Can Lead to a Promotion.
There are advantages to staying with a company and working your way up the ladder, but these habits will be good ones to develop no matter where you are working in the next decade or so. Here is what she looks for and encourages:
Look for ways to solve problems on the job. Anticipating, identifying, and creatively addressing issues shows leadership potential. You can share your suggestions and let your boss decide what to do with them; even if your ideas go unused, your efforts will be noticed.
Accept assignments that stretch you. Meeting those challenges gives you more opportunities.
Keep track of your results. When there’s a hard number to point to, it should be on your resume. Recording the evidence of your efforts validates your work experience when applying for another position.
Understand your company’s leadership values and look for ways to develop those qualities.
Success is a team sport — every leader is part of a group that works together for a greater good. Work on making your workplace a better place to work and your efforts will be appreciated.
Marillyn Hewson speaks from her position as someone who has worked through many levels and positions at Lockheed Martin. She knows what your higher-ups are looking for. She says,
“Senior leaders spend a lot of their time focused on developing talent, building succession plans, and identifying who is ready to take on a leadership role. The success of an organization rides on doing this effectively. By practicing these five habits, you could be at top-of-mind when the next leadership position opens up.”
Have you noticed that the working world is kind of like a track event?Some races are marathons, and the runners who win are slow and steady folks who keep on moving ahead, where the sprinters, the ones who zip past leaving their co-workers in a cloud of dust, don’t always stay on track. Not that sprinting is bad, it’s just a different race and the techniques that work in a short speed contest don’t do well in endurance challenges. Track events will generally have a variety of contests and different skills will win different events.
Sometimes an athlete will move from one event to another, like the sprinter in the marathon. If the sprinter has developed the endurance to keep a steady pace and still have the strength to run fast at the end, they will likely be the winner. If they have no endurance, they won’t be able to keep up in the long run. An athlete who has learned how to adapt can switch to several events and win them all, but it takes experience and training. It also takes recognition that they are capable of moving from one category to the next.
A worker who has moved up to manager or supervisor and shown 2 – 10 years of quality work is often ready to be promoted from one event to the next, but they have trouble getting the recognition for their abilities. Because they are seen as capable managers or supervisors, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they will be seen as executives. It’s like the marathon runner has announced they are entering the sprint.
Our professional resume packages highlight all the accomplishments in your career and showcase the skills that you will bring to a promotion. They are perfect for presenting your abilities as a professional ready to add a different category to your career.
If you have been the race for a long time, maybe it is time to up your game. Go over your resume part by part and make sure it represents who you are today and where you see yourself going. Do your accomplishments shine brightly? Is your experience rich with detail but yet concise enough to not bore your reader to tears? Does your resume have action statement and keywords to pass a keyword scanning machine? To stay competitive, update your resume yearly with highlights of what you did the previous year. Don’t leave it until the last minute when someone is asking for it. Like training, it takes a bit of time and thought, but the results will be worth it.
In order to advance in your career or show improvements on your resume, you need to make sure that you are constantly trying to better yourself and your skills. Employers want to see that you will make their company a more profitable place. Whether by awarding you with a promotion or giving you the job in the first place, you need to show employers the value you offer by doing something to enhance your career on a daily basis. You will be surprised how simple it can be to improve and develop skills, which may in turn lead them to give you the job or the promotion.
Practice: This is simple, but if you continue to practice the skills you already have, then you will become more proficient and they will become more impressive to employers.
Networking: This is another simple thing, but so very important. You need to make sure that employers know your name so that when promotions come up you are one of the first names that come into their head. Make sure your name is prominent on successful projects, that your initiative to move up the ladder is known, and that you introduce yourself to those attending meetings with you, especially when interacting with the company’s executives.
Training: Look for training and professional development opportunities in your industry that would help you develop new skills or enhance yourcurrent skills. Training by professionals can be a great way to learn and become impressive. If the training is especially applicable to your job, employers may even pay for part or all of the training.
There are so many things you can do to improve your career and resume. If you feel you are not improving, then take the time to ask yourself what you have been doing lately to add value to your career, as well as create a plan to further your skills and expertise. In today’s competitive job market, it is essential that you show employers the value you add to the company, every single day.
Most people are usually well aware of the fact that having a high-quality, well-written resume is the best way you can go about getting the job of your dreams. There are loads of ways in which you can make sure that your resume has the ideal layout and wording to help you land a job, however, it is also important to make sure that your resume is suited to the position you’re applying for.
When it comes to applying for jobs, you’re going to find a job hunt much more effective if your resume is written to match specific job descriptions. Your experience and skills listed on your resume should coincide with the qualifications listed in the job description, otherwise, potential employers may write you off at the first hurdle.
However, if you are applying for a job that is much grander and in essence a better job, then it makes sense that your resume needs to step up to the mark. If you are going for a higher-paying job, and one that gives you a much better chance of career progression, then you need to ensure that your best career achievements and leadership skills are highlighted in your resume.
If this sounds like you and you want to make sure that you can go for a promotion, or higher-level position, then you may need to look at having an executive resume created. This goes above and beyond a standard resume and is essential if you are going for any type of executive or c-level (President, CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, CTO) positions. An executive resume must be powerful and have a “wow” factor that will attract employers looking for executive-level candidates.
Throughout your career, you are definitely going to encounter a situation where you feel entitled to a salary raisebut have not been offered one. Learning how and when to ask for a raise is the first towards taking control of one’s future and career. Unfortunately in these tough economic times, raises are not always freely given, in fact sometimes we feel like we are fighting for it. Capitalizing on successes and highlighting your ability to make a difference can often be parlayed in to raises. The trick is to know when to strike. First, decide just when to ask for a raise. This can be tricky. Many employees opt to only ask for a raise on a yearly basis, but it is possible and sometimes even suggested, to ask for raises on a more frequent basis. When trying to determine the best time to ask for a raise, consider the following:
Is your employer financially secure? Even if your company announce it’s earnings from the rooftop, it is generally possible to determine if they are secure or experiencing cash flow difficulties. Obviously asking for a raise when a company is strapped for cash is not a great idea.
Has your employer recently won new business, reached a sales goal or other milestone? If so, it is often best to ask for a raise as soon as possible – especially if you contributed to the success.
Have you recently done something to change your company in a positive way? Finishing a large project, winning a new client or developing a helpful program for the company can make you shine and is the best way to successfully ask for a raise.
Once you have determined the perfect time to ask for a raise, you next need to learn how to do so in an appropriate manner that is professional but also persuasive (minus the chocolates and sucking up). Remember to keep all communications regarding your request positive, and be prepared for a ‘no’ or an offer that is less than you expected.
When asking for a raise, remember that your best weapon is your record of successful accomplishments. Properly documenting and presenting them is critical towards a successful request. Carefully and concisely outlining your accomplishments as well as your growth is the first step towards asking for a raise. Finally, always remember that professionalism is key. Because of this, it is vital that an employee not ignore the management structure of their organization. Every employee should first approach their manager or supervisor with their salary raise increase request. Jumping ahead is little more than stepping on the toes of the manager and will likely not result in a raise.
If you are not satisfied with cost of living or non-existent raises, don’t be afraid to approach your manager about your needs. An employee who recognizes their strengths and contributions and is willing to learn and grow is an asset to any organization – raises simply make sense. Find the best time to present your request and documentation and you will likely see your salary increase.