Take Time for Yourself
We take time for so many things but many times we forget to take time for ourselves. What are some things you can do for yourself? Work out, eat right, get enough sleep, remove stress or figure out what is causing it, and learn to deal with it. The way we look, the way we feel, everything from our mental status to our energy level are all parts of what make up our reputation and sell us to others. Our image makes a huge impact on whether the owners/executives can see us being successful in a management role.
We all like to think that people will consider us for who we are, to look at the person under the skin, clothes, and habits who will get lots of things accomplished. The fact of the matter is that interviewers decide in a matter of seconds, as do many customers what and whom they will select and want to do business with again. By taking time for yourself you can begin to concentrate and hopefully elevate how upper-level management looks at you.
Being willing to help others, mentoring, educating, and showing compassion, are just a few things that great leaders do and others recognize as they look at you to be a potential manager. Depending on the industry and the politics in your work environment it can be challenging to put differences aside or not get involved in cliques. I worked in many different industries over the years and it was so refreshing to get into the Foundry industry where there is a comradery and a “brother/sisterhood” attitude. Years of politics and watching people undermine others to get ahead had me frustrated. I was energized by watching everyone pull in the same direction.
I was in my 20’s when one of the best mentors I ever had sat me down and said: “if you would concentrate more on working hard and getting me promoted, versus working to get yourself promoted, everything will fall into place for you.” I remember that meeting to this day and it hit me hard. It was just the advice that I needed. That was some of the best advice I ever received.
By including others in your decisions, by including others in training, by including others in communication when possible you show you are ready to be promoted. In the corporate world things and and ideas move fast and it can slow you down when you get others involved but getting a different perspective, a proofreader, or someone to challenge you when you get off the rails is worth the effort.
Having lunch with a co-worker or direct report is a great way to get their full attention for an hour or more and it’s a very easy way to include those who work around you and to build relationships. Building relationships and having people who respect your work is paramount to you getting into the role(s) you want to get to. Office politics can begin to wear you down and at times even make you want to give up, but by staying positive and creating relationships you can make any job less stressful.
Notice Changes in Behavior of Those Around You
The longer we work in or around the same group of people the more we can start to understand how they act daily. Seeing and understanding changes in behavior, and the care and compassion you show toward the people around you will show you are ready to be in charge of your own group of direct reports.
Some of the things you can start to look for: Are they morning or afternoon people? Are they better on Monday or Friday? How does the individual react under pressure and stress? How do they react when they have deadlines?
Listening skills are extremely important and although they seem elementary/basic, there are so many managers and executives that struggle to listen. Corporate life is chaotic, especially for owners and executives. Finding individuals for their teams who will tell it like it is, hiring people who gain the trust of others to communicate the “real stories” upward is important. Separate yourself by polishing your listening skills and slowing down. Watch those around you and understand who gets things done, who communicates well, who causes problems/drama, and whom you can trust.
Staying positive and not allowing your work, your situation, your co-workers, or your boss to get you down is tough. Your attitude is everything. How you handle stress and pressure will start to become clear. Successful managers don’t get to where they are because they let themselves get dragged down. Use your time off to reenergize yourself. Think about making a plan to change and do some things differently. You need to be comfortable with both you job and your feelings about the job.
Finding the right fit can take time. I found myself at times asking how and what got me into this role? Some people get into spots where they can’t leave, they might be handcuffed because of the pay, the benefits, because of age, or many other issues. There is nothing sadder than watching individuals suffer through the years just putting in the time and going through the motions.
You’ll get your shot. Remember that seldom do things happen quickly. It can take years and years for management spots to turnover. There are companies out there where management turns over faster than others, but there is usually a good reason for that. When you start to look at companies where you want to work it’s very easy to look up who has been in a particular position over the last 3-5 years and it’s also a great question to ask during your interview.
I appreciate you reading my article, and better yet checking out DHRS.
Stay strong, stay positive, and watch where you step in the field!