How can I move into management when switching jobs?« Back to Questions List

Maria, I caught a few of your articles and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. So much so, it helped me gain a new found sense of direction (rough draft of course). Long story short; I've come to realize, my experience has taken me well past line level work, and it is time to take up a position as in a management or a senior role with a firm management path. With that in mind, I have a couple of prospective companies on the hook, and I was wondering if you were familiar with SRA International and/or Appirio? Also could you provide any feedback as to how I should structure my approach in taking my career in that direction?
Posted by Dominic
Asked on January 14, 2012 7:49 am
Dominic, Especially knowing your background and taking in consideration your outstanding communication skills, I absolutely agree that your next move should set you up for a leadership role. Unfortunately, I am not intimately familiar with the two companies which are courting you at the moment. I would like to share a strategy that would help you assess any employer on the subject of whether or not they can provide you with a management path you desire and get noticed by those who can. With this said, I recommend switching your focus from dollars to opportunity. Get into a mind-set of long term planning. Especially with consulting houses (you’ve mentioned) leadership path may not be most lucrative as they are driven by billable hours. However, obtaining management experience at this stage is priceless, so that could be a sacrifice you might have to consider. Revisit your resume. Try to play up your project management experience and let it take the spot light with your most recent jobs. Look at the key words in the job descriptions that appeal to you and make sure your resume/LI profile is searchable for those who are sourcing candidates for these roles. Be honest in your interviews. Don’t try to please them by acting like you are willing to do anything they want. Instead, explain that you are in great standing with your current employer, but being a flat organization there are few opportunities for growth. Make it clear that the only reason why you are looking is because you are ready for leadership. When hiring manager talks about how their open position may evolve into a management role, don’t settle for a cliché “we have great growth opportunities”. Ask them for details such as, reasons behind these potential added responsibilities, if this would depend on future restructure or projected department growth. Address time-frames they have in mind. This way you will be able to determine how realistic all of this sounds. This assessment should be a priority factor in selecting a new job if management is your goal. I hope this helps, please call me off line if you want to get into more details.
Posted by Maria Dubov
Answered On January 14, 2012 8:57 am