How to become manager

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29 December 2023

Have you ever watched your boss and thought, “I could do that job”? You’ve got the drive, the creative ideas, and a knack for leading others. But climbing the ladder to become a manager can seem like a mystery.

Many people aim for this role and must understand what steps they must take or whether they’re truly ready for it.

The truth is that transitioning from an individual contributor to a management position involves more than just accepting new responsibilities—it’s about mastering a whole new set of skills.

Our article will guide you through the signs that show you’re prepared for leadership and explain practical steps to get there. We’ll also share some expert tips on thriving in your newfound role once you reach manager status.

Ready? Let’s dive into your future leadership journey!

Key Takeaways

  • To prepare for a management role, prioritize the team’s needs over personal interests and demonstrate problem-solving skills.
  • Get involved in prominent projects, take calculated risks, and volunteer as a mentor to display leadership qualities.
  • Build relationships within your industry through networking and seek advice from experienced managers to enhance career progression opportunities.

Understanding the Role of a Manager

Managers are pivotal figures within an organization, steering teams toward success and ensuring that objectives are met. They juggle multiple responsibilities, from setting goals to overseeing project management.

These leaders must possess robust soft skills, including excellent communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence, which help them understand and motivate team members effectively.

Their role often involves making critical decisions that can impact the company’s direction and their team’s performance.

A manager’s day might include analyzing reports for business acumen insights or brainstorming strategic approaches to new challenges. They mentor employees to foster professional development and model a growth mindset, encouraging others to expand their competencies.

Time management is crucial in this role – managers must prioritize tasks while focusing on overall company culture and employee needs. Whether they have earned a bachelor’s degree or an MBA, continuous learning remains key as managers need updated knowledge to drive innovation and sustain job growth within their organizations.

What it means to be a manager | Role and Responsibilities of Managers

What is the role of a manager? Are you a new manager? How to become an excellent manager? How to manage your team for high performance? What it means to be a manager and what does a manager do?

Signs You’re Ready to Become a Manager

You prioritize the team’s interest over your own, lead by example, respect people’s differences, have earned trust and respect, and are a problem solver.

When Are You Ready To Be A Manager?

- What do you do if you have a manager but they don’t actually do anything to help/guide/or support you?

You prioritize the team’s interest over your own

Putting the team first shows real leadership potential. It’s not just about making decisions that benefit you personally but those that will help the entire group succeed. This might mean setting aside your tasks to assist a struggling coworker or sharing credit for a well-done project.

True leaders understand that by fostering an environment where teamwork thrives, they also set themselves up for success.

Aimed at enhancing productivity and camaraderie, you champion projects and policies that benefit all team members—even if it means extra work on your part. Your actions tell others you’re committed to the group’s goals, not only personal accolades.

Advocating for what is fair and empowering within your workplace indicates maturity and readiness for managerial responsibilities, propelling individual growth and collective achievements.

You lead by example

Great managers don’t just talk about what needs to be done; they show their team how it’s done. They set the bar high by displaying exceptional work ethic, decision-making skills, and a commitment to company values.

Their actions inspire others because they handle projects with competence and confidence, embodying the very qualities that define leadership. These leaders take accountability seriously — if there’s a mistake, they own up to it and fix it.

Instead of assigning blame, they focus on solutions.

A manager who leads by example also knows the importance of mentorship. They invest time in guiding employees toward success and understand that every interaction is an opportunity to teach or learn something new.

how to become a manager

This creates an environment where team members feel valued and understood, laying a solid foundation for loyalty and trust within the department. Such managers practice empathetic leadership, especially during difficult times like a financial crisis or pandemic, showing vulnerability yet maintaining resilience, which further solidifies their role as role models in the eyes of their peers.

You respect people’s differences

Respecting people’s differences isn’t just about being polite. It shows you have the emotional intelligence to manage a diverse team effectively. Successful managers understand each person brings unique perspectives, skills, and experiences.

They leverage these differences to foster innovation and creativity within their teams.

Embracing diversity in the workplace goes beyond race or gender; it includes recognizing varied communication styles, leadership preferences, and problem-solving approaches. As a manager who values individuality, you create an environment where everyone feels heard, appreciated, and motivated to contribute their best work.

This respect for diversity also helps build strong relationships with colleagues across all business administration levels.

You have earned trust and respect

Earning trust and respect indicates readiness for a managerial role. Prioritizing team goals, showcasing leadership qualities, and embracing diversity is crucial. Gaining the confidence of colleagues establishes a strong foundation for stepping into a managerial position with strategic thinking and practical communication skills.

Developing emotional intelligence and consistently focusing on the broader interests of the team are key indicators that you’re ready to become a manager. Once these attributes are cultivated, you must take proactive steps toward advancing your career by embracing opportunities for skill development while seeking advice from experienced professionals within your network.

You are a problem solver

Having earned trust and respect, your next step as an aspiring manager is to hone your problem-solving skills. As a manager, you must make effective decisions that positively impact the team and the company.

Critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and assertiveness are vital to resolving workplace issues. Remember that obtaining certifications and attending workshops can further enhance your ability to tackle complex challenges efficiently.

Networking with colleagues and supervisors provides support and opens opportunities for sharing problem-solving strategies. Becoming a master of business administration (MBA) or developing leadership skills is crucial to managing risks effectively and making sound decisions.

Steps to Becoming a Manager

Join a growing company, develop your skills, contribute significantly to your team, volunteer for prominent projects, embrace risk, be a mentor, understand the bigger picture, seek advice and support, and network effectively.

Tips to Become a Successful New Manager

When you move from being an individual contributor to overseeing the work of others, you’ll face a whole set of new challenges. The truth is that the skills that made you a great team player won't necessarily make you a great manager.

Join a growing company

Consider joining a growing company, as this can provide ample opportunities for career advancement. New and expanding businesses often seek new leaders to help guide their growth, offering chances for aspiring managers to take on higher-level responsibilities.

Additionally, being part of a growing organization allows individuals to gain valuable experience handling rapid change, cultivating an environment that encourages innovation and flexibility.

how to become manager join growing business

Expanding companies generally need individuals who can adapt quickly to various situations while actively contributing toward the company’s evolution. This creates an ideal setting for those seeking managerial roles to showcase their leadership potential and establish themselves as crucial organizational contributors.

Develop your skills

To develop your skills for a management role, could you consider identifying your strengths and areas for improvement? Take leadership, communication, and project management courses to enhance your competencies.

Seek out mentors or supervisors who can provide guidance and support as you work towards achieving your career goals. Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of networking; building relationships within your industry can open doors to new opportunities.

Once you have honed these skills, it will be easier to contribute significantly to your team while also preparing yourself for future managerial responsibilities.

Contribute significantly to your team

Once you have developed your skills, it’s time to contribute significantly to your team. Take initiative and offer assistance on challenging projects. Be a reliable team member and support your colleagues when they need help with their tasks.

Showcase leadership by taking responsibility for achieving team goals and motivating others to do the same.

Additionally, actively participate in brainstorming sessions, share innovative ideas, and collaborate with your team members to find practical solutions. Offer constructive feedback that helps improve overall performance and creates a positive work environment for everyone.

Volunteer for evident projects

To further showcase your management potential, it’s crucial to volunteer for highly visible projects within your company. Engaging with such projects allows you to demonstrate your abilities and take on additional responsibilities, ultimately highlighting your leadership skills.

By taking the initiative to contribute to these high-impact projects, you can prove your readiness for a managerial role and gain visibility among critical decision-makers.

Showcasing measurable goals and achievements through these projects will highlight your effectiveness and provide evidence of how you can positively impact the organization.

Embrace risk

After gaining visibility through volunteering for highly visible projects, it’s crucial to embrace risk as part of your journey toward becoming a manager. This involves taking calculated risks that will help propel both the company and your team forward.

Embracing risk means stepping out of your comfort zone, making bold decisions, and taking on challenges others may shy away from. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to handle uncertainty and show confidence in your leadership abilities.

Embracing risk is about adopting an innovative mindset and seeing obstacles as opportunities for growth rather than roadblocks. Being open to risk-taking shows that you are focused on driving progress and achieving results despite potential setbacks.

Be a mentor

Transitioning from embracing risk, another crucial step in becoming a manager, is to be a mentor. Sharing your knowledge and experience with others helps them grow and solidifies your understanding of the role.

be a mentor for become a manager

As a mentor, you provide guidance and support to help others advance in their careers. This fosters a positive work environment and contributes to the professional development of your team members and yourself.

Seeking opportunities to share your expertise will improve team performance and showcase your leadership abilities.

Understand the bigger picture

To become an effective manager, it is crucial to understand the bigger picture of the organization. This means recognizing how your team’s efforts contribute to the company’s success and aligning your goals and decision-making with that perspective.

Understanding the broader business objectives, market trends, and industry challenges allows for more informed strategic planning and fosters a proactive approach to problem-solving.

It also enables you to communicate a clear vision for your team, set realistic performance expectations, and allocate resources effectively toward achieving long-term organizational goals.

Embracing the bigger picture also fosters collaboration across departments and encourages cross-functional understanding. Managers can leverage diverse perspectives to drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and fully address complex business issues by promoting a holistic view of operations.

Seek advice and support

To progress towards a managerial role, pursuing advice and support is essential. You can gain valuable insights for refining your leadership style and decision-making skills by seeking mentorship.

Networking with experienced managers and leveraging peer mentors broadens your thinking while providing diverse perspectives to enrich your understanding of the human resources landscape.

Informal mentorship before formal mentoring can also be beneficial for developing a solid foundation to refine your management competence further.

Engaging in dialogue with seasoned professionals allows you access to a sounding board for more enormous ideas while obtaining guidance on navigating employment challenges effectively.

Network effectively

To advance your career and become a manager, it is crucial to network effectively. Take the initiative to connect with colleagues, industry professionals, and management team members.

Attend networking events, engage in industry-related groups or associations, and seek out mentors or sponsors who can offer guidance and support. Building strong professional relationships can open doors for new opportunities and provide valuable insights that can contribute to your professional growth.

Aspiring managers must proactively expand their network inside and outside their current organization. By doing so, individuals can gain exposure to different perspectives and potential career paths as they become successful managers inside and outside.

What to Do Once You Become a Manager

A pair of professional shoes by a clean desk in a bustling city.

Continue building relationships, schedule regular check-ins with your team, manage upwards, celebrate your achievements, and seek ongoing support. Ready to take the next step in your career? Click here to read more about becoming a manager!

Continue building relationships

Build relationships by scheduling regular check-ins with your team to show your support and foster open communication. Engage in active listening during these meetings to understand their challenges and provide guidance where needed.

Managing upwards is also essential for building solid relationships, as it involves understanding your manager’s goals and priorities while effectively communicating your team’s needs.

Celebrating achievements together boosts morale and fosters a positive work environment, strengthening professional bonds.

Seek ongoing support from mentors or peers to gain insights into effective relationship-building strategies and navigate challenging situations with diplomacy. Networking effectively within the company can also help you expand your influence and establish meaningful connections that benefit you and your team.

Schedule regular check-ins with your team

Regular check-ins with your team are vital for understanding their progress and providing guidance and support. These regular meetings allow you to assess the team’s needs, offer feedback, and create a supportive environment.

They also help build trust and rapport while demonstrating your commitment to their development and success. Regular check-ins enable open communication, creating a more inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued.

I want you to know that regularly scheduling these check-ins will make sure that you stay updated on projects, address any challenges promptly, and provide opportunities for coaching team members effectively.

Manage upwards

To manage upwards, demonstrate strong management skills, and establish a professional rapport with your superiors. Showcase leadership qualities by taking charge of tasks, seeking advice when necessary, and promoting organizational visibility.

Maintaining open communication channels with upper management, being receptive to feedback, and incorporating expert guidance into decision-making processes are vital aspects of managing upwards.

I want to let you know that showing initiative in seeking support from higher-ups, understanding their priorities, and aligning your efforts with the company’s overall goals will help you manage upwards.

Celebrate your achievements

Celebrate your achievements as a manager. Acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and dedication of your team. Recognizing accomplishments can boost morale, motivate employees, and foster a positive work environment.

It’s an opportunity to thank your team for their efforts and show that you value their contributions.

By celebrating wins, you reinforce a culture of success within the team while building stronger relationships with your employees. Recognizing achievements helps maintain high levels of engagement and commitment from your team members, ultimately contributing to the organization’s overall success.

how to become manager

Seek ongoing support

Building on the momentum of your achievements and seeking ongoing support is vital for your growth as a manager. Establishing a mentorship or coaching relationship can provide valuable insight and guidance as you navigate management challenges.

Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of peer support; by networking with colleagues and reaching out to management team members, your leadership skills can help you gain diverse perspectives and develop a robust support system within your organization.

Finally, prioritizing ongoing education and professional development will ensure that you stay ahead in your field and continue refining your leadership skills outside.


In conclusion, becoming a manager requires focus on personal development and leveraging natural strengths. Signs of readiness for a managerial role include prioritizing the team’s best interests and being a problem solver.

Joining a growing company and developing skills are essential to becoming a successful manager. Building relationships, networking with colleagues, and seeking support from mentors are crucial for career growth in management.

Obtaining certifications and attending workshops can improve the technical and soft skills necessary for managerial roles.


1. What skills do I need to become a manager?

To become a manager, you need the competency to make decisions, set goals, easily handle an inbox, and have strong research abilities.

2. Do I need a master’s degree to be a manager?

A master’s degree can help but isn’t always necessary. Being mentored or gaining experience through roles like internships may also lead you to becoming a manager.

3. How important are managers to stick their neck out for their team?

It shows intention and courage when managers stick their necks out for their team; it could strengthen your reputation and demonstrate leadership qualities that are key in management roles.

4. Can understanding my strengths and weaknesses help me become a better manager?

Yes! Performing a SWOT analysis on yourself can guide your career strategy and prevent burnout by aligning your role with extroverted traits if you’re outgoing or personal strengths if you’re less so.

5. How crucial is my resume in job hunting as an aspiring manager?

Your resume should showcase your achievements clearly since it reflects your professional reputation—the stepping stone towards securing your desired managerial position.

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