Hello all, I'm a little frustrated. I'm trying to get my first management job but I don't seem to be getting any response from potential employers. I'm in my lower 40’s and just a few classes away from getting my Associates degree in Management-Leadership Development. I've been in manufacturing for several years. I have been railroaded from the industry because of nepotism and affirmative action. I know it’s unethical…but it happens. I just recently started  in a new industry in an entry-level non-management position in retail with a big-box retailer, hoping that I will be able to work my way up in the company and land a management position in retail, but It seems that I don’t have enough retail experience to move into management. I've recently applied to a lot of other retailers who are looking for assistant managers and shift supervisors, but I haven't had any response from the companies that I've applied to. 
I'm wondering am I not being considered for management because I being viewed as a potential threat to the hiring manager of these companies because I'm about to earn my degree… or am I not being considered because I don't have my degree as of yet? How am I supposed to make management if the hiring managers see me as someone who might take their job? I would very much like a management position before I’m 50 and I definitely don’t want to remain at entry-level menial position for the next 10 years or more.  Does anyone have any advice for my particular situation? Thanks.

gehrhorn's picture

Ask your boss questions like, "what do people who are successful in my role do?", "what do people who are successful in the next role (shift supervisior, team lead, etc) do well?", "what are the key results I will be evaluated upon and how do you recommend I try and achieve them?", etc. 

My guess is that hiring managers are not worried about you taking their job. It's very, very unusal for someone to get promoted over their boss. Usually there's a vacancy to be filled by the boss getting promoted, transferred, leaving the company, growth, etc. I don't work in retail, but what I just described is true in my industry. 

Smacquarrie's picture

I have worked in management roles in both retail and manufacturing.
I have never come across a situation in either of those where someone is unwilling to hire based on the possibility of that person getting promoted over them.
I will say that your original post tells me what the problem might be though - you.

Let me start by commending you for going back to school to get your AA, and please keep in mind that for many manager jobs they want to see either many years of experience (you just changed industries) and/or a bachelor degree.
As someone new to the industry, not yet in possession of a degree, to think that you should somehow merit an immediate entry into management sounds like you may have a naive view of the world around you.
Take some time to do mock interviews with people you know who are hiring managers.
Video tape yourself giving your answers.
Are you coming off as arrogant (I had this problem for many years)?
Do you sound unsure of yourself or do your examples sound far fetched?
Do you have well thought out examples to share in the interviewing process?

If you have not yet done so, I recommend both the Interviewing series and Resume workbook from MT.
Each of these can help give you an insight into your performance and expectations.


janiscravin's picture

I'm fairly confident of my resume and cover letters at this point, although my interview skills might need to be polished. What concerns me is that I'm not getting any request for an interview. I suppose it is because I have changed industries and do not quite have my degree. I would really hope that I don't have to wait several years befor moving into a leadership position in retail. I feel like all my years in manufacturing are wasted it seems that with my previous background and degree I would very much be considered and interviewed. Thanks.