3. Set goals for improving skills
Using the information from your self-assessment, set a goal to strengthen one or more of your growth areas before applying for a manager position. Ideally, the selected growth area is one of the core leadership skills. Then, self-assess periodically to determine if you are making progress. This will help gauge your readiness and will benefit you in the future as a manager when supporting employees with their own growth and development.
In some cases, you can begin by referencing your company’s framework for goal setting. This will provide structure and support to create a simple process. For instance, your organization might use a tiered goals framework that organizes objectives by week, month and year.
If your company doesn’t have a framework, use goal-setting resources online to create your goal. You can then use individual feedback or performance evaluations to self-assess your progress. If a colleague helped you during the self-assessment phase, they could support your progress monitoring as well by sharing their observations.
4. Share your aspirations with your manager
It can be very valuable to express your managerial aspirations to your own manager or supervisor. This person can provide honest feedback about your readiness, as well as suggest ways to develop your skills before applying. They might even assign you new projects or offer insight into their own experience as a manager. Any of those gestures would help your preparation process and boost your confidence in doing it yourself.
A critical step on your way to becoming a manager is to demonstrate to your supervisor and colleagues that you have the skills to be successful in the position. Doing so will give you direct experience to add to the qualifications you list on your resume or reference during an interview. It also shows initiative, which is an essential leadership trait that employers look for when hiring a manager.
There are both direct and indirect ways to show your worth when pursuing a manager position. A direct way would be adding specific, measurable accomplishments and outcomes to your resume. An example of a measurable outcome might be increasing your company’s profit margin or expanding its client base. Informally, you can model the communication and problem-solving skills that companies expect in a manager by speaking up in meetings, sending clear notes and follow-up steps from team meetings or offering creative solutions to challenges.