However, while management may be the obvious step, actually making the progression is often somewhat more complex than one initially imagines. To try and provide insight into what it takes to move into management, below, we’ve answered the most common questions people have about this path.
How much will my role change if I move into management?
Almost entirely. The vast majority of management positions will take you away from frontline operations; your focus will shift to overseeing the work of the frontline staff. For example, if you currently work in customer service talking to customers, as a manager it is highly unlikely you would continue to interact with the customers on a regular basis – instead, you will oversee the staff that deals with the customers.
Will I have to apply for a management position?
In most cases, yes, but you could also try speaking to your boss and explaining that you’d like to be considered for any future upwards moves if possible. You may still need to go through an application process if you do this, but it at least demonstrates your willingness to progress through the company, something that is usually looked upon favorably.
Does every frontline job have the opportunity for moves into management?
Yes. There are very few, if any, entry-level jobs where there is no possible upward move; even more vocational careers like medicine and teaching have opportunities for advancement.
Are there any expectations of the worker to move into management?
- Most companies will prefer to promote workers who have been in their frontline job for a relatively long period of time; at least 12 months is generally considered to be standard.
- You will likely need to excel in your existing position and have demonstrated commitment to the company and an ability to work hard.
- You may need additional qualifications to move into management, relevant to your specific industry; engineers may find it useful to obtain a Masters in Engineering Management, teachers may benefit from a Masters in Educational Management, and so on.
What if I want to leave my existing company?
Moving into management with another company can be more difficult than an upwards move with your existing company, as you do not benefit from the fact that the company knows you and the work you are able to produce. It is usually advisable to seek additional qualifications, as this can help to show you are ready for your next move, and to obtain references from your existing company.
It is worth mentioning that while you may feel nervous to ask for references, this does at least highlight to your existing company that you are looking for advancement, and you may find this prompts them to examine whether they can offer you an upwards move rather than having you leave the company. It’s something of a risk, but it can work out well for you.
Moving from frontline work into management is one of the most established routes of improving your career outlook, but it is not as simple as it may initially seem. If you’re looking to make the change in future, then the points above are well worth keeping in mind as you embark on this new stage of your career.