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How to Get Promoted to a Manager Position Without Management Experience

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You’re hungry to advance your career and the perfect opportunity has presented itself. It would move you into management and allow you to supervise a team. The problem is that while you have plenty of industry experience, you don’t have any direct managerial experience. What do you do?

This is a chicken-versus-egg scenario for the working professional. What comes first: the management position or the management experience? Furthermore, how do you get one without the other?

If you want a promotion to manager but you don’t have those direct managerial skills, you’re not out of luck. There are a few ways you can demonstrate your ability to lead and be an asset to the company by pulling from other aspects of your life.

Success Stories
Sit down and think about times where you overcame an obstacle, solved a problem and helped the team. Note areas where you demonstrated key leadership skills, organizational insight and strategic initiative. Showing how you performed typical management duties without necessarily being a manager speaks volumes about your future potential.

Volunteer and Use Your Hobbies
It’s very possible that what you do in your free time provides examples of your management skills. Coach your kid’s traveling baseball team? You likely not only lead and motivate the players, you manage a budget, strategize plays and try to appease parent needs. Wherever you volunteer, note areas where a managerial mindset has helped you be effective and then provide examples in the interview.

Read Up
If you can’t talk the talk you won’t walk the walk. Every industry has different terms, benchmarks and expectations for managers. You must be able to understand and contribute to a management conversation or it will be quickly apparent you’re not ready. Read books, follow blogs and connect with thought leaders on LinkedIn. Determine your own management philosophy and be able to communicate it well during interviews.

Take a Class
Still think you’re short in the experience department? Start volunteering for new, challenging projects at work and consider taking a class to improve your management acumen. Research community education, certification programs and higher-education options for working professionals. It looks great on a resume and should help you learn important skills you can apply in the future.

Insider Tip: When you interview for a promotion that may be a bit of a stretch, it’s important to exude self-confidence. If you can communicate well and convey your passion, you may just convince the hiring manager that any holes in your experience are nothing compared your desire for success.

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