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by Mila Sanchez | June 23, 2016


If you are fresh out of college, or even just starting a new career, you are probably thinking about how you want your career path to go. Chances are, to get anywhere within a company, a managerial position is one of the steps to get there--so how can you assert yourself as an exceptional candidate for one? The first step is to recognize qualities in yourself that are important to being a manager. Here are a few to look out for:

Emotional Intelligence 

One of the most important qualities of a good manager is emotional intelligence. If you can understand the feelings and personalities of your staff, you are more likely to succeed; managers who can’t do this are often perceived as uncaring, unrelatable, and may receive a high amount of complaints. Managers with high emotional intelligence are able to keep themselves and others cool during stressful situations, listen to their staff just as much as they talk, and can admit and learn from mistakes rather than trying to blame others.

If you feel you don't have enough emotional intelligence, don’t worry! You can improve your own emotional intelligence by doing things like becoming more aware of emotions--your own and those of the the people around you--and by being more aware of your nonverbal communication, and learning good conflict resolution skills. 

Leadership Skills 

Leadership skills are absolutely necessary to be an effective manager--you need to be comfortable taking charge, be able to communicate well, delegate assignments and responsibilities, and be able to do it all in a way that instills confidence, not resentment. If you are too abrupt in your orders or overly micromanage your team, you are going to alienate people, and their work will suffer for it. On the other hand, if you don’t get involved or communicate with your team at all, you may run into a lot of miscommunication and procrastination, which will also result in work suffering. Great leaders are able to find a good balance in how they manage their staff without seeming overbearing or under-involved. If you feel your leadership skills could use some help, ask to shadow and learn from someone you feel is a great leader, whether that be your own manager or even just a friend you know. 

Prior Knowledge and Ability to Learn 

When your employer is evaluating you for a management position, it is guaranteed they are going to guage how much they will have to put into training you for the position. While some training is always involved, the less time and money they have to spend on training you, the better they are going to view your candidacy. To get yourself ready for a management position, start studying up on things like ethics and learning your company’s policies more intimately. Also, demonstrating an ability to learn fast in your current position is going to show those who are looking to promote someone that you are ready to take on new challenges. 

Moving up in your career isn’t easy, but recognizing and fostering those qualities that you need to advance in yourself is vital to achieving the positions you want. Some may already possess those qualities, and for others it may take time to develop, but everyone is capable of improving themselves and their chances at the career path they desire.  

Mila Sanchez is a writer with a BA in English Linguistics living in beautiful Boise, ID. Her ambitions include traveling the world, studying languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.