How to Become a Manager in 6 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 4, 2023

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Becoming a manager requires several soft and hard skills, and relevant experience. When aspiring to become a manager, it's important to consider which skills you need to succeed as one. From here, you can pair your skills with your industry knowledge and expertise to take on a leadership position as a manager. In this article, we discuss how to become a manager in six easy steps and explore the skills required to perform this job effectively.

How to become a manager

Managers typically earn additional compensation and get access to more career advancement opportunities than entry-level staff. Here is a list of the necessary steps for those looking to become a manager:

1. Research requirements for becoming a manager

To become a manager, it's important to look at the requirements for your ideal job. Whether you want to move up in the company you work for or change jobs entirely, inquire about which skills and qualifications are necessary. When doing this research, be sure to look up common roles and responsibilities, potential salaries, and essential skills.

Research potential positions both informally and formally. Read professional articles online, find job descriptions with valid information, or call a career advisor to determine how you can prepare. Consider speaking to those around you about their experiences. Ask your supervisor targeted questions about their position and their role so you know what to expect and what is expected of you.

2. Look at your existing skills

From here, perform a self-audit to get a better idea of your skills and how they apply to your desired position. By doing this, you set realistic goals and expectations while pursuing this career. You can also set a timeline for when you plan to begin this career and how you plan to work toward it. Assessing your own skills provides you with a concrete place to begin your new job path.

When performing a self-assessment, look over your previous performance reviews to see where you can improve. Consider discussing your intentions with a coworker to receive honest feedback.

Read more: Top Management Skills Every Manager Needs

3. Improve your skills

When you've completed your self-assessment and developed a list of current and desired skills, it's time to work on improving your skills. Choose which areas you need to work on and develop a plan for improving those skills. A good way to do this is to develop SMART goals:

  • Specific: Be specific with your goals to provide a clear path to follow.

  • Measurable: By having a measurable goal, you have an endpoint in mind to ensure you know when you accomplish your goals.

  • Achievable: Having achievable goals is necessary to staying motivated.

  • Relevant: Ask yourself whether your goal is relevant and can help you reach your career aspirations.

  • Time-bound: Set a timeline for your goals so you can monitor your progress.

By committing to improving your skills, you are setting yourself up to be the best manager possible. You are also preparing yourself for the interview process by having increased self-awareness and a broader skill set. If you are not sure where to start, look at which skills you need to become a manager and work on those.

Read more: How to Improve Your Management Skills

4. Discuss your goals with a supervisor

Discussing your goals with a supervisor is a good way to identify how you can work toward becoming a manager. They can tell you whether they believe you're ready for the position and identify how you can prepare for a future interview. Your supervisor can also discuss new responsibilities or projects.

5. Work hard

The next step toward becoming a manager is showing your skills in the workplace and demonstrating your worth. If you're looking for a management position outside your place of employment, continue to work hard at your current business to improve your qualifications and to work on getting a good referral. If you're planning to apply for a management position at your current place of employment, identify where the company has room for career progression. Show initiative by setting goals and implementing new procedures to improve profit, strategy, and other tasks that help the company grow.

6. Apply for a position

When you've worked on your skill set and proven yourself in the workplace, it's time to apply for a management position. Do this by speaking to your supervisor to determine how the hiring process works. If you're looking to work outside your current place of employment, research jobs, make sure you meet the qualifications, and apply.

Related: Benefits of Using Manager Resume Examples to Create Your Own

Skills to be a successful manager

Being a manager requires you to show various leadership and organizational skills. A successful manager has strategies in place to improve the company's profits and meet company goals. Here are some other skills shared by successful managers:

Delegation

Successful managers delegate to increase company productivity and to strengthen overall performance. To delegate effectively, managers need a clear idea of where their employees excel and how they contribute to the team. By leveraging your employees' skills, projects you complete products more efficiently.

Leadership

Managers must demonstrate strong leadership skills to monitor employee productivity and their efficiency. An excellent manager knows how to lead by example and motivates employees while focusing on tasks. Demonstrate your leadership skills in meetings and by knowing when to delegate to other team members or employees. Consider acquainting yourself with other employees or team members to have a good understanding of their skills and abilities, and which responsibilities to assign.

Communication

Managers must know how to communicate effectively with their employees and coworkers. As a manager, you need to be clear and articulate when expressing your ideas and assigning tasks. It's important that everyone understands their responsibilities and roles, so these communication skills are essential for managers.

Having good communication is also useful when coming into contact with customers or clients. When customers have complaints or employees need to resolve issues, your job is to help resolve the issues. Speaking to customers respectfully and finding solutions to their issues are components of having good communication.

Employee management

Next, you must have good employee management skills. This requires you to get to know your employees and which skills they contribute to the team. Another function of employee management is understanding their personal commitments and accommodating their needs. Some managers invest in team-building activities and skills training to build a stronger and more cohesive unit.

In this sense, managers also need to take advantage of opportunities to develop strong relationships between employees and to use strategies that improve company culture. To do this, share with your employees and coworkers to develop personal bonds.

Time management

Time management skills ensure managers can arrange both their time and the company's time effectively. Having a good grasp of time management ensures you know how long tasks take to complete and allows you to navigate larger projects. When you have strong time management skills, you can delegate tasks to complete them more effectively and quickly.

Time management skills are essential for good managers. When entering this role, you must create schedules, develop timelines for projects, and multitask effectively. It's important to find the balance between quality and speed. While meeting deadlines, be sure not to rush your employees or coworkers.

Related: Time Management Skills: Examples and Definitions

Budgeting

Depending on your place of employment and management responsibilities, it's important to have a good understanding of budgeting. When you're working on projects, you need consistent knowledge of the overall costs and expenses. Sometimes, you need to develop the entire budget and discuss your plans with upper management.

Problem-solving

Problem-solving skills are also essential for managers. These skills allow you to think critically to develop solutions for problems between customers, employees, and project-related issues. You must know how to look at a difficult situation and find positive outcomes.

Strategic thinking

Knowing how to work strategically helps managers come up with effective decisions about the company's daily operations. You need to have a clear grasp of the company's values and goals. This helps you develop strategies to work toward those goals every day. Set realistic standards for yourself and the team you're managing to ensure everyone knows what to do and to identify how time is to be allocated. The best way to work strategically is to create a plan that incorporates everyone's ideas.

Related: What is Strategic Management and Why is it Important?

Conflict resolution

Conflict generally occurs when someone doesn't feel heard in a conversation or by a company, so navigating these conversations involves active listening and nonverbal communication. As a manager, you need to find solutions that benefit all parties involved in the conflict. Listen to both parties, stay neutral, and use critical thinking skills to develop the most suitable solution.

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