If you have spent several years building up your experience in the workplace and are ambitious about your future career path, you might have plans to progress to a managerial position. As a manager, you will be in charge of a team of people. This brings with it responsibilities and stresses and you will have to prove that you are capable of being an effective leader of people without cracking under the pressure.

As such, there are several things that you can do to develop your skillset and prove to recruiters that you are a future leader. Here are seven ways you can prepare yourself for promotion at a managerial position at work.

Earn a degree

Going to university and earning a degree demonstrates to recruiters that you have the dedication and concentration to apply yourself to a higher level of study. They will be particularly impressed if you have managed to balance your study around working full-time.

If you have no previous university experience, a bachelor’s degree will provide you with a firm grounding in a relevant subject, such as business studies. If you already have your bachelor’s degree, an online MBA will deepen your knowledge and skillset and help to boost your career prospects in an increasingly competitive job market.

Professional certification

As well as university degrees, there are also plenty of professional certification program’s that you could pursue to develop yourself in a particular workplace skill. For example, effective communication is a big part of being a manager and an area in which many people fall short, so a certificate in effective assertive communication will demonstrate to recruiters that you have prepared for this.

Alternatively, there are professional certificates specifically aimed at developing leadership and managerial qualities. Professional certificates are often cheaper than a three-year degree programme, and are offered by both universities and training centers specializing in workplace training.

Develop your technological skillset

There’s no getting away from the fact that technology plays a big role in the modern world, and nowhere more so than the workplace. Make yourself stand out from other candidates by developing your technological skillset.

Your company might use particular software, such as the Adobe Creative Cloud to produce marketing materials, or you might want to consolidate your proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite. Though use of such programs might not be a part of your day-to-day activities as a manager, a comprehensive knowledge of how they work will allow you to more effectively assist and supervise your team.

Keep track of your accomplishments

It can be all too difficult during the stress of an interview to remember all that you have achieved in your current role. Remembering on the spot might be even more difficult if you have worked in your current position for several years, the result being that you end up leaving out a vital piece of information that could even cost you your promotion. To thoroughly prepare yourself, make it a habit to record all of your achievements in the workplace.

Having this information at your fingertips will make it easier for you to fill in job applications and preparing for interview questions, and ensure that it is backed up by data to provide clear evidence of your achievements. For instance, excellent customer feedback and reviews, or if you ran a successful ad campaign, note how much this affected sales.

Take note of who gets promoted

Though it can understandably be frustrating to see others get promoted ahead of you, paying attention to who does progress in your workplace can provide you with plenty of useful information to aid your own career progression. Is there a common thread that suggests that your company is looking for certain traits in its manager?

Those who are promoted, for instance, may consistently exceed their sales goals by at least 10%, or have a master’s degree. Paying attention to the habits and accomplishments of those who have been successful in gaining promotion will provide you with some pointers of what you need to do in order to progress yourself.

Find a mentor

Finding a mentor in your workplace is great for your professional development. They will help you to develop your professional skills and give you a better sense of how to navigate the challenges of the workplace. If you find a mentor who has experience of the role you want to progress into, they will be able to thoroughly prepare you for promotion.

Furthermore, by developing a relationship with a mentor at your company, you will have someone who can advocate for you and your skills and recommend you when a position does open up. You can be confident going into interviews that you have been thoroughly prepared for a higher position thanks to the ongoing personal development provided to you by your mentor.

Dress for the job you want

It might seem superficial to consider clothing and you might think that what you wear is not important compared to your professional qualities and skillset. However, as a manager it is important that you present yourself in a smart and professional way.

This includes dressing smartly and being well-groomed, as well as interacting with staff both above and below you in a confident but respectful manner. So, leave the jeans and sloppy shirts for the weekend and invest in a neutral toned separates that can be mixed and matched for a professional and classic work capsule wardrobe.

Conclusion

Furthering your education by pursuing degree programs, professional certifications, and seeking a workplace mentor is key to developing the advanced skillset needed to be an effective manager. You should also present yourself in a professional way to demonstrate that you are a solid representative of your company. While you might not get promoted immediately, by thinking strategically and being proactive with this goal in mind, you will eventually achieve your dreams of a higher position.