Getting Ahead as a New Manager Takes More Than Hard Work

One cartoon figure is running ahead of 2 others in a race

If you aspire to be a new manager, listen to new manager training experts: getting ahead is not just about doing your work well…it is also about making your value as a new manager visible.

You cannot assume the powers-that-be are noticing that you are working hard and even producing superior results. You have to be proactive and play the “game.” You need to promote yourself as an influencer and leader rather than hide in a corner. You have to network with people who can help you advance. You need to manage your manager!

Think about the people in your office who have been passed over. Some with good reason, no doubt, but plenty who were conscientious, hardworking, compatible, and intelligent. What were they missing? They did not take charge of their careers. They just hoped someone would notice them, but no one did so they continued on in their cubicle doing the same old, same old and liking it less and less.

Yes, you may have to step out of your comfort zone to toot your own horn. But think of the payoff! Here are some new manager training tips on how to begin:

  • Make sure your boss knows what you want.
    Schedule an appointment with your manager. Arm yourself with a list of your accomplishments. Be clear about wanting to grow and take on new challenges. Ask for their support in learning new skills and handling new responsibilities.
  • Network and collaborate beyond your department.
    Be creative about ways you can work with others across functions. Go to marketing with a new idea. Give sales a warm lead. Check in with operations so you have a better idea of how they work and how your roles overlap. Learn what makes the company tick, help others to succeed and make new connections across the company.
  • Improve your communication skills.
    Learn how to understand others, interact with confidence and persuasively present your point of view. Learn the body language of self-confidence so you appear like someone who deserves a promotion. Learn about the different communication styles so you can connect in a more effective way. Learn how to empathize with others so you can understand what problems they face and can be supportive and understanding.
  • Be strategic in managing your career.
    Exercise your influence where it counts most. Observe who seems to carry the most weight in decision-making. Get to know what makes them tick…not in a manipulative way but in a way that allows you to better understand the politics of the situation.

Doing good work is only part of the answer to getting ahead to become a new manager. Making sure you are noticed in the right circles is the other part.

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