Guide to Begin the Management Career of Your Dreams

If you aspire to persue a management career, rest assured that every successful manager in the world started out in the same place — an entry-level management position. If you’re a young worker, you may need to invest a few years in your company to prove yourself and build your leadership skills before you’ll be taken seriously as a candidate for a management position. But if a career in management is what you want, there are some concrete steps you can start taking now to get yourself there.
First, you’ll need the right educational background. Then, you can start working on the skills you’ll need to lead a team and on proving yourself to higher-ups at your company. Finally, you won’t get a management position unless you let your supervisor know that’s where you’d like to go in your career. Follow the steps below, and you’ll be on your way to a satisfying career in management in no time.

1. Get the Right Education

There are some managerial skills you can’t learn in school — but that doesn’t mean an educational background in management isn’t important. A young person hoping to land a first management position should consider studying management at the undergraduate level.
A BA in Management is qualification enough to start your career. While an MBA has value, it’s usually best to spend a few years in the workforce before going to graduate school, so you have a better idea of what specialization you’d like to pursue. Besides, many companies will pay for you to return to school for an MBA later in your career if they feel you need one.

2. Do a Great Job, Even If Your First Position Isn’t a Management One

Even with a BA in Management, you may not be offered a management position right out of school. That’s okay. An entry-level position gives you a chance to prove yourself to the company and show them that you’re the right choice for a management position.
Of course, you’ll have to do a great job in whatever position you’re given. No company will put you in charge of a team if you can’t even handle your own job. Besides, you’ll probably need a firm grasp of the skills you’re developing in your current position in order to someday supervise the employee who will hold it after you.

3. Hone Your People Skills

Great leaders have great people skills, and great people skills aren’t often taught in school — they’re something you have to learn through months or years of interacting with others.
Work on your communication skills and hone your people skills. As a manager, you’ll need to inspire your team to perform at their best, and to do that, you’re going to need your team to like and admire you.

4. Show Initiative

Sticking to your job description isn’t the way to stand out as a potential leader within your organization. Show some initiative and volunteer for tasks and duties that showcase your management skills.
Offer to help your supervisor put together the yearly budget, or an estimate of costs associated with a new product. Volunteer for planning committees or any other assignments where you can show off your planning and management skills — just make sure these duties don’t hamper your ability to do your assigned job.
If you can’t take on any extra duties at your company for whatever reason, don’t worry. You can also get experience and develop your management skills through volunteer work for local non-profit organizations. Volunteering at a non-profit can help you advance within your own company, or give you the chance to get to know community leaders who can hook you up with management opportunities at other companies.

5. Don’t Forget to Ask for a Promotion

Of course, higher-ups at your company aren’t going to offer you a management role if they don’t know that you want one. Once you’ve done the groundwork to show your superiors that you’re a good choice for a management position, don’t forget to approach your supervisor and express interest in a management position.
A good time to bring this up is during your performance review, when you can ask to discuss the future of your career. If you don’t want to wait, you can go to your boss and ask to set aside time to discuss your career development, specifically what you might be able to do to position yourself for a move into management in the near future.
If you’d like to have a career in management someday but you have yet to land your first management position, don’t despair. Do what you can to prove to your company that you’re management material, and landing your first management position will only be a matter of time.