How to Make the Transition to Management

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For many top sellers, growing in their career means taking on new roles in the company and moving into management positions. But to do this, it takes changing the way you look at your work and learning new skills. If you are trying to climb the ladder and move into management, here are some tips to help you on your climb:

  • Be sure that it is what you want – Making a change from a position that you are excelling at into a new one with different responsibilities can be a big challenge. Being a manager will mean a huge shift in your day-to-day work. Not only will the work be different, but just because you are great at sales doesn't mean that you will be successful at management. As a salesperson, your role is clearly defined and your performance is based mostly on your individual accomplishments. But, in management, you work will become more varied and your performance will be rated by the performance of your team.

  • Tell you supervisor about your goals – When you let your boss know that you are interested in moving into a management position in the future, they can help you make choices that are going to serve you best as you transition to management. If you let them know, then they will be able to look at your performance and make a decision about promoting you the next time they have an opening. It is certainly a better option than waiting for them to approach you with a job offer.

  • Start thinking like a manager – Make a 6 month plan and share it with your boss. Share with them your long term sales strategies so that they will know that you are able to plan a road map for success. When you start thinking like a manager, it will be easier to step in and offer to help out on projects that may not be your responsibility. Offer to help train new hires or take notes at the next sales meeting. All of these things will show upper management that you have what it takes to handle a larger role with the company.

  • Get some training – Read some management books or even consider taking a management course at your local college. Many colleges and community colleges offer professional growth courses that can help you get prepared for the challenges you will face. Not only will it help you in your new position, it will give your company more reasons to offer you the job.

  • Build your network – Networking is a key part of sales and management, but you will want to build your network across your organization. Develop relationships with other managers, people working in other departments and your peers. Getting to know all of the people who keep the company running will only serve to help you when you step into a management role.

Making the decision to move into management isn't an easy one. Be sure that you are making the choice because of an honest desire to do the job, rather than feeling that it is the next logical step up. The first few years in management will be difficult and will require you to learn new skills, make mistakes and become more flexible. If you are a top salesperson, you may be used to success and have a hard time dealing with the learning curve associated with success in your new position. But, if it is what you really want to do, then the work will be worth it. So, take the time now to set yourself up to make your transition successful when the opportunity arises.

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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.

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