6 ways to transition from worker to manager
1. Enhance your people skills
When you become a manager, you move out of work production and into the business of people. How you relate to others, both above and below you in the hierarchy, is key to your success. Your own manager will work in specific ways and you'll be expected to understand their preferences around meetings, communication, and working practices. However, you also need to get the best from the people you manage. Flexibility and professionalism will help you, but don't forget to show your human side too.
2. Get to really know yourself
Figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Once you know what those are, you can build on the good things and put solutions in place for the rest. Get feedback from your team, your mentors and your own manager, and really engage with your annual review. Everyone has work they can do on themselves, and the more willing you are to embrace that, the better your future in management will be.
3. Understand decision making
Decision making isn't just a case of spotting the one solution and rolling with that. Managers often have multiple solutions for one issue, and once the information is gathered, the ability to make a decision with certainty will give your team confidence in you, even if the outcome isn't as expected.
4. Hone your time management skills
You need to learn how to prioritise, to recognise the difference between something urgent and something important. You can also learn to delegate appropriately. Delegation (giving work to other people) might sometimes feel unfair, but it's part of your role. Other people look to you to tell them what they need to do. Boundary setting also has to be firmly established. Working late is one thing, but if you do it every day of the year, your personal life and mental health could be at risk.
5. Improve your communication
Being able to think clearly and efficiently communicate that thought to others is a powerful skill to have. Improving your writing skills is a good start, but you also need to be able to talk to people and think on your feet while you do so. Communication is a two-way process, so good listening skills mean that you pick up useful feedback, understand peoples' needs better, and are furnished with the information you need to make good decisions.
6. Continue your professional development
No matter where you are in your career, there is always room to learn more. Continuing your professional development, with relevant training, reflective management journals and participating in industry events is crucial to your ability to keep up with the requirements of your role.