Management Degree: Don’t Wait For It

by George Purdy

The ability to manage people correctly is the most important skill for any manager to possess. You need to learn how people will function, react and think under a variety of circumstances. Learn to respect people, even if they are different. Learning to work with people and influencing them is important as well. You won’t be promoted to any management position if you cannot manage people, and you will be condemned to failure. It helps to have a management degree also.

Don’t just hang tight and wait for that management job. Take the first step and show initiative. Planning is an important management skill to have. A great way to demonstrate your planning ability is to offer to assist your boss to collect the necessary information in order to prepare the annual budget. Tell your boss you are also willing to help with creating the estimate of cost for the addition to the new production line.

Offer to take part in the planning committee for the next company picnic, or sit on the employee relations board, or join the next study group. Ask Human Resources about management training or coaching, and find a way to volunteer your time and expertise. You will gain useful people skills. Assume responsibilities outside your primary role, but don’t let it impinge on your job performance.

Getting a management degree is the ideal way for you to increase your chances of earning your first management job. Earning a degree gives you the time to develop skills that would make you a superb management recruit. Another option would be to volunteer your time at a non-profit organization. Volunteering provides a number of ways to gain experience which often looks good on your personal resume. Volunteering also gives you the ability to network with others and create contacts for future hiring.

If you want to have a management job, take the first step and ask. You need to be proactive and make the effort, rather than waiting for someone to come to you. Ask to be considered for lead positions on committees and teams to help build your skills. The more you are seen, the more you will be considered. When you start with smaller projects, you can build to bigger things in time. In the future you could land the next management job.

Entry-level management positions are easy to find. In larger corporations, human resources publishes a list of open positions on the internal server; smaller corporations may post openings on a bulletin board. Your chances of having your application supported by your boss will be much higher if you have demonstrated dedication to your job : improved your people skills, performed well on the job, and pursued a management degree while taking an interest in your company’s managerial model.

The single most important skill for any manager is the ability to manage people. Learn how people think, react, and function when faced with different outside forces. Develop respect for people, even those different from you. Getting a management degree will also help. If you want to get ahead in your career, you can volunteer for company social events. You will expand your business network and gain additional name recognition. Alternatively, you can ask your company’s HR department about management training or coaching options. Those options can help you learn how to manage people.

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