Making the jump to management: what you need to know
You wrote a superb job application, landing you an interview which you absolutely aced. You were even more impressive at the second stage interview, and later that day got the call you’d been hoping for. You’ve got the manager job – now what?
We’re all trying to climb the career ladder, but taking on a new role means taking on new responsibilities – especially if you’re starting a management position for the first time.
Whatever your line of work, making the step up to a senior position brings with it new challenges and obstacles that you may not have encountered before. So what do you need to know to make sure your jump to management level goes smoothly?
Possibly the greatest challenge facing a first-time manager or team leader is learning how to get the best out of people. Everyone works differently, the challenge for you will be finding the best way to accommodate the individuals in your team so everyone is working well together.
As well as talking to your team as a whole during your first week, consider talking to them on a one-to-one basis as well. Discuss any issues they may have, or any objectives they want to achieve, and work with them to find solutions.
This will show you’re a committed, approachable and hands-on boss – something all employees want to see. On an on-going basis, be sure to keep tabs on team members’ progress (without micro-managing them!) to ensure that they are satisfied within their job. And if any issues arise, deal with them as quickly as possible.
Meetings with your superiors, delegating tasks, managing your team… the life of a manager is a busy one, and that’s before you’ve even dealt with your own workload!
Organisation skills are important in almost any job, but at management level things can really get on top of you if you aren’t on top of them. So take some time out of each day to prioritise. What needs doing soon? What can be pushed back? By breaking your responsibilities down you’ll be able to manage them far more easily, and you’ll thank yourself at the end of the day!
Whether you’ve been promoted within your current organisation or you’ve moved to a new company, it’s important to know as much as possible about the business. Your team will need you to be able to answer questions they have, while your superiors will expect you to be as on-the-ball as they are.
If you’re starting at a new company then of course you won’t be expected to know everything straight away, but it’s important to do your research and work hard to know the company inside and out. Speak to everyone, take notes and don’t be afraid to ask!
Delegation of work is sometimes seen as one of the ‘perks’ of being a manager – what could be better than passing on work you don’t want to do to other people? The reality, of course, is a little different.
Delegation is about knowing what you should be handing down, and what you should be doing yourself. Delegate too much and your team may turn on you, but keep too much work for yourself and you’ll find yourself swamped.
When it comes to dividing up work, think about the different strengths that people in your team have and try to delegate accordingly. It’s also important to be clear about what you want from each person, so take some time to detail what you want them to do and achieve.
Last but not least, as a manager you’ll need bags of confidence! There’s nothing wrong with a few first week nerves, but the people above you and below need to have confidence in your abilities.
If you find things a little overwhelming at first just remember that the skills, experience and characteristics that got you the job in the first place haven’t disappeared overnight. So be confident in your ability to do the job!