Help me help them!
July 26, 2014 3:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm an assistant manager now. I want to be a manager, and there will be job openings in a month or so. What can I do to increase my chances of getting promoted?

Obviously, you guys do not know what my work entails and can't help me there. Same with work environment, and how hiring works. But I imagine (and maybe I'm wrong), but I imagine there are little things I can do to be known as a Person Who Would Make A Good Manager.

And that's where I'm hoping you guys can help. Generic, useful, useable suggestions.

I can definitely provide more details if it helps. Thanks AskMefi!
posted by trogdole to Work & Money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Reliability. No one wants a manager that can't be relied upon to be on time, be present, be consistent, etc.
posted by rachaelfaith at 3:26 PM on July 26, 2014

Best answer: seconding reliability. reliability shouldn't even be a question, it should be an unspoken standard. also, learn ALL the processes. the more comfortable you are with how work flows, the more comfortable and efficient you will be at managing it. also, be observant. a great manager is one who sees issues and reacts to prevent or fix them before they affect work. learn how to talk to people. to be able tell someone what to do and how is the bare minimum. you must be able to guide, coach, enable and lead others. lastly, be accountable. realizing your mistakes and owning up to them, not with excuses but with solutions, is what i look for in my managers.
posted by ps_im_awesome at 3:36 PM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: At all costs, stay out of office drama and gossip.
posted by floweredfish at 3:36 PM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The pattern I see again and again and again is doing the work first, and getting the promotion later. Can you point to sustained and successful performances of that level of work? In the ideal world it would be the right way round, but almost always I see the reverse, where first you fully demonstrate not just competence but actual accomplishment at that level, and then the job title comes after.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:00 PM on July 26, 2014

Best answer: You might ask whoever is going to be hiring the positions you're interested in what they want to see - it'll at least get management thinking about you in the context of the positions you want. At the very least, they should be willing to sketch out a roadmap of what they want to see you do on the way to a promotion.
posted by Candleman at 4:28 PM on July 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Prove that you can do the job. I can't think of much else that will show that you can handle it, other than actually handling it.

Make your team work better together. If there are interpersonal conflicts, solve them. If there are workflow problems, solve them too.

One thing that stands out to me about the best manager I've ever had was the fact she not only knew the job inside out, but she showed that she knew the job. She was right there with us, in the trenches, at it were. She's also friendly and approachable. We recently had a sort of mini-competition where we all made cake and shared it in the staff room, which helped a lot too.

One of the worst managers I ever had also knew the job inside out, but had terrible social skills. You employees are not your friends, and it's unwise to make them so. But saying hi and making eye contact and showing a degree of interest beyond "have you done $job yet?" will go a long way. Nobody wants to work for an asshole.
posted by Solomon at 4:30 PM on July 26, 2014

Best answer: Go to the person in charge of the hiring decision, tell him/her that you're interested, and ask him/her what you need to do over the next month to demonstrate that you'd be the best candidate for the job. They might prefer that candidates know a particular piece of software or have experience on a particular line position and letting them know now that you're interested gives them time to give you the opportunity to learn/practice this stuff on the job.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:04 PM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I feel like I'm missing something here. I'm one of four assistant managers where I work (multinational retail corporation) and in no way at all am I not a manager. As an assistant manager who wants to manage at the next level, you should already feel like A Person Who Is a Good Manager. I don't understand why you seemingly don't view yourself as a manager; perhaps more details about your position are necessary.

Barring that, my advice to anyone looking to move up is to take every opportunity you can to be more than what you are now. Go the extra mile. Never say "it's not my job." Never bring your boss a problem; bring a solution. Never say "I don't know." Be prepared for everything -- all the problems, all the questions, all the shit storms. Good luck!
posted by coast99 at 8:55 PM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Have you talked to the person who is in charge of hiring and let them know you're interested?
posted by radioamy at 12:04 AM on July 27, 2014

Best answer: Make your current manager's (working) life easier. Show that if chosen as manager, you would do the same for you new boss. Assuming you know the job you have now and can do the one you are interested in, the biggest factor is that you would take on the work in such as way that the new boss would find his/her life easier. Reliability, willingness to take on hard work, good handling of personnel, all those things.
posted by librosegretti at 9:08 AM on July 27, 2014

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