Next move: How do I break into management?

Expert advice for readers' career problems

The question: How do I break into management?

I have been in IT for 10 years. I have technical skills, MCSE certification and have done some project management. I am currently a third-level engineer on a projects team in a City financial company. I would like to break into management but it is proving difficult as I have not worked in a team leader role. I have the confidence, capability and desire to perform in that role. What can I do?

The solution: Show you are willing to tackle difficult tasks

There are two things you can do to move your career along. Firstly, ask your line manager about taking on extra responsibilities. If that means working late or over a weekend, then do it.

Put yourself forward when they are looking for people to do difficult or laborious tasks that have an element of leadership.

Secondly, if you get regular appraisals, ask for objectives or KPIs to be set for you to obtain the position you want. Be prepared to take criticism in your efforts.

Highlight your skills and achievements. If you have any skills gaps, ask for training. A lot of firms are happy to provide funds or time off for individuals to improve their skills. Keep up with your accreditations as many companies view the experience gained doing them as extremely valuable.

The next time a project comes up where you can apply some of your new-found skills, ask if you can put them into practice.

The most important thing is to check, every day if necessary, if what you are doing is taking you closer to your goal.

Solution by Tracey Abbott, business manager at Wreay Group and Atsco board member

The panel: Hudson, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group


Need advice on your IT career? E-mail your questions to: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk


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This was last published in September 2006

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