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Four Ways to Hone Your Skills for a Move into Upper Management

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Many people joining a company have the long-term goal of moving into upper management. While this is an admirable goal, it is important to know whether you have the skills needed to do the job. 

Your plan for promotion should begin well before that day comes as you work to gain the skills needed to be a manager in your field.  There are also many websites with advice and opportunities for advancement.  You need to hone the abilities needed like leadership, decision making, communication and listening along with critical thinking and problem solving. 

Of course, you can take classes that teach you these things just like you can learn how to create and understand budgets for your company and your employees. However, these skills are best if honed on the job.  You will want to put these ideas into practice at your workplace on a daily basis.

 To become a successful manager, here are four areas to master :

Time Management

When you are strictly an employee, you are able to make choices regarding your time and how you get your work done. Once in management, you will be pulled in many directions by tasks and by people. It is important to know how to set boundaries for what is most important to you at work and personally. 

You will have to become comfortable with not completing every single item on your to-do list and plan to pick up the work when you return the next day or after the weekend. A manager’s work will spill over the usual forty-hour work week, and you will have to manage your time wisely in order to get your work done well, and that includes investing in the people you manage. 

Communication

When you are managing people, you will have to be very good at communicating with them about work requirements, priorities, culture issues, deadlines and more. This is key to being a good manager. You will have to effectively and clearly get your ideas across to your staff. This will include spoken and written communication. 

To discover how to do this effectively, start by listening carefully to how your bosses give out assignments, praise and criticism. You can analyze their actions and think about how you would handle a situation or communicate directions.   You may want to take some communication classes to improve your ability to explain priorities to others in a motivating way.

Delegating

This may be a more difficult skill to master, especially if you are not used to delegating work to others. As a manager, you may not produce as much as you were used to because you will be guiding or overseeing a team that is doing the bulk of the work. You will have to be able to attend corporate meetings and then, in turn, tell your staff what work is needed. Again, classes for management would be a great idea to work at honing this skill. You can also do that through working with interns at the office, giving them opportunities to thrive under your direction. 

Networking

People often think of networking as something that is done outside your office with other companies and groups. If you are wanting to move into management, you will need to make networking in your office a priority by getting to know people that work below you and people that work above you. In management, you will need to take the ideas and directions of your supervisors to the people whom you manage. 

This includes understanding the culture and climate of your office and getting to know your co-workers. This can be done through lunches, social events, and sports teams. You will want to be friendly, engaging and welcoming to newcomers. Putting your best foot forward with all of your co-workers will hopefully lead to being welcomed as a manager when the time comes. 

You may decide to take your skills to a new company in order to get the promotion you want.  When you feel like you are ready to make the push to go into upper management, there are ways to seek opportunities by reaching out to a financial services recruiter.  

No one comes ready with all of these skills in place. Make a commitment to master them as you work toward your goal of upper management. Take classes, work on your resume, get to know managers at other offices and get their advice. All of the work you put in will pay off when you succeed at reaching your goal of a promotion into company management. 

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