My question is - how one goes about jumping into management position?

About me: I have Master's Degree and I worked as Research Analyst in public sector for about 3 years. The most likely step up for me would be Research Manager. However, I am not going to be able to move to management position in this type of organization. I requested such change a number of times but was always pushed back. So I am planning to look for job in private sector and I want to apply for Manager's position: Marketing Research Manager or Project Manager. However, formally I do not have management experience.

Technically, my Bachelor's degree was in Economics and Management. I also managed a number of projects and people at my current place of work without being formally/officially acknowledged of actually "managing" them. I feel I could make a great manager. But I am not sure how would I position myself while applying for manager position.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

juliahhavener's picture
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Continue to gain hands-on managerial experience, listen to 'Your Resume Stinks!' and figure out how to make your current accomplishments highlight that experience, and apply (and interview well!) for those positions.

Did you receive feedback when you failed to make the move in your current position? Is it actionable feedback that you then made good use of?

In my experience, the people I saw who have had difficulty moving up into management positions have largely failed at taking, and making good use of, feedback. One peer would take any feedback given him and make 180 degree turns in the behavior - NOT effective when the adjusting feedback is just that...ADJUSTING. Another was utterly blind to any feedback given - he would nod and smile and accept it well, give lip service to it, then go forward on his merry way doing the same things poorly.

I do feel like being able to accept feedback and take action on it, has enabled me to give much more viable feedback to my directs. I know that, in terms of 'moving up', it played a LARGE part in my doing so. I feel safe in saying that those I have worked for would indicate that I am good at receiving feedback and make direct and obvious improvements based on that feedback at every opportunity. I've learned a great deal from it (mostly that I have to adjust my actions to others' expectations and behavior preferences).

Hope this helps...

bflynn's picture

Get into a job you love, a job that you can excel at and Produce Results. On a ten point scale of what you need to do, this is a ten and the next closest is a three.

Ultimately, if you're not delivering results, you have just about zero chance of moving to management. And, if you're constantly delivering results, you almost can't avoid getting promoted.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

If you can't get it at your company, and you want it, you have to leave.

But to be clear, it's hard to go from non-management at Co. A to management at Co. B.

Produce results, and look for projects where you can demonstrate motivating teams to achieve goals.


psasha's picture

Thank you for your inputs. It was very helpful in seeing the big picture. Podcasts are great!

Another thing - I do some consulting work on the side.
Could it be an asset when applying for management position? Or is there a possibility that potential employers might think about side consulting work as something distracting from main work? For example, they might think - if she worked on the side while being with her previous employer, she will do it here as well.

I know it can be perceived both ways: positive as having confidence, initiative, independence, but also negative - disloyal, unfocused, and untrustful. On the other side, it may also be presented as a way of exploring new opportunities, new areas and acquiring more skills.
Certainly, it would be ideal to combine them both: main work and side work, but it might not work out like that sometimes.

So is it worth to put stuff like this into resume or not?

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Yes. Include it. As long as you're not creating conflicts of interest (or schedule) with your primary job, it's a positive.