How To Know If You’re Ready To Transition Into Management

In a 2022 Gallup poll of more than 13,000 U.S. employees, 58% said being able to use their best skills was important when deciding whether to accept a new job. However, this number raises a bigger question: are workers able to recognize their true strengths versus a perceived skill that actually takes a little more time and professional development to become a real strength?

This distinction is particularly critical when changing into managerial positions. Moving from a non-managerial to a managerial position involves more than just a change in title, salary (hopefully!), and maybe office location. A supervisor takes on certain tasks. And team members who aren’t ready for leadership could do more harm than good to themselves and their organization.

A 2020 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 84% of US workers felt that bad, undertrained managers created unnecessary stress and work. What makes a bad manager? From the point of view of the interviewees, the problem was insufficient training in dealing with people. In other words, these executives just weren’t ready for their roles, whether because of their own or their employers’ lack of planning.

The point here is simple: if you want to move into management, you need to make sure you’re ready. Otherwise, you and your direct reports could face challenges beyond the first few weeks of transition trying to make sense of everything.

How can you tell if you are Manager Material? Answer the following questions – with absolute honesty.

1. Are you successful in your current position?

You may have heard of the Peter Principle before. It suggests that the hierarchical structure in many organizations results in people being promoted to their level of incompetence, leading them to a career plateau. Whether the Peter Principle is entirely correct or not is immaterial. Chances are you’ve encountered colleagues in positions that you thought were too advanced for their abilities. And you don’t want to follow suit.

One way you can avoid becoming an example of the Peter Principle is to show acumen in your current job. Bob Marsh, chief revenue officer at Bluewater, a design-forward technology company that empowers brands through sensory storytelling across digital and physical canvases, explains what this means: “Employees who don’t meet or exceed their goals aren’t ready to move up ,” he writes. “Let’s say you’re a salesperson looking to move into sales management. You must be 100% committed to exceeding your sales goals and building positive internal relationships over several years before committing seriously to management can be considered.”

Do a quick review of your past track record. Do you give everything consistently and honestly and are you successful? If not, identify your skill gaps and fill them appropriately. Ask for support such as B. Mentoring or further training.

2. Are you an agent of change?

Leaders should be able to successfully lead their teams into and through change. Being an advocate for change is not easy. You want to approach change by being open-minded and surrendering to the process. You don’t want to panic everyone with abrupt changes. You want a smooth, thoughtful, and peaceful transition.

One technique for making change in a low-key but noticeable way is to speak up in one-on-one and group meetings. Present concepts that others haven’t considered and emphasize the goals that you and your audience share. Backing up your proposals with verifiable evidence allows you to influence decisions without dismissing your teammates, while showing that you’re ready for a managerial role.

3. Can you measure your results?

If you’re applying for a managerial position, you’ll want to be able to back up your readiness with numbers. This can be anything from stats to annual performance grades. Having metrics at hand convinces stakeholders that you can be an asset in a new role, but it also gives you the opportunity to determine for yourself if you’re ready before you even apply for that new role .

Never thought about yourself like that before? You don’t have to go too far out of the box. Remember that almost anything can be measured. For example, you might mention that every year you’ve earned a bonus commission for exceeding your sales goals. Or you could say that you’ve won the Account Manager of the Year award three times in a row based on high CSAT responses. Maybe you have been selected as a project team leader 10 times in the last two years. These are all measurable — and memorable — stats.

What happens if you find it too difficult to demonstrate your effectiveness in a measurable way? You may not be ready to apply for a managerial position just yet. When this happens, try taking on more work and leadership responsibilities to demonstrate your mastery. And invest time in professional development. Leaders use their superpowers, but they also learn new leadership skills.

Self-reflection may not always feel comfortable, but it can help you not jump into management too soon. Being self-aware is crucial to building your personal brand as a human resource manager. It’s better to wait to accept the title of Director, Supervisor, or Team Leader than to stumble mightily after accepting an offer that was out of your league.

Once you are able to provide the correct answers to these three questions, confidently take the first step.

William Arruda is a keynote speakerco-founder of CareerBlast.TV and co-creator of Personal Brand Power Audit – a free quiz to help you measure personal brand strength.

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