You’ve been on your entry-level job for ages and its becoming less challenging, the pay isn’t commensurate to what you’re giving on your job, motivation is ebbing. The problem may be self inflicted because you’re devoting little to no time to developing yourself further or positioning yourself for a future move. Plugging into your current role is more dangerous than it might seem, reason is, the business environment changes quickly and we risk becoming irrelevant. here are the 5 ways to prepare for that mid-management transition.

1. Make the shift from “me” to “we”
Moving up the ladder means you have to be a team player supporting everyone’s contribution. Mid-level employees are the link between the senior level (strategizers) and Entry-level (doers). Your new job will require you develop skills that make you a great team member like Empathy, Accountability, Responsiveness (good collection habits; having mental space to treat jobs as they come), effectiveness, Participatory (engaged in operations).

2. Sign up
All companies have projects that cut across lines of business and functional specialities. Find out what they are, who’s involved. Now this is the argument “getting experience across business lines is a better choice than further deepening your skill base” why? There might be no visible career path where you’re working (Flat not hierarchal) reason why its necessary to sign up for projects outside your main area.

3. Learn to delegate and make strategy your day job (Look up not down)
Make sure you’re seeing the whole picture and how each piece connects together. Entry-level means you’ll sweat the small stuff. Managers who advance in the careers primarily by excelling at operational work go on doing operational work long after they could delegate those duties which causes so much inefficiency. On the flip side, Strategy is about asking “what” we should be doing-figuring out what problems the company should be tackling, sensing what’s happening in the world and learning to apply it to your business.

4. Speak Teach Blog
When a new project is simply not available, find roles outside of your group/organization that allows you to learn and practise new skills. Teach, speak or blog on topics relating to your interests(key word: interest). Building ones personal brand increases chances to get a proposal to join strategic initiatives.

5. Think Win-Win
You’ll be charged with developing the best plan, you’ll need to see the validity of all points of view even when there contradictory, you’ll need to make trade-off’s, you’ll need to create win-win situations. Note, most people practise Win-lose, long as the other person is satisfied and they lose in the process then they’re okay, this is self deprecating and has long term which can build resentment into teams, reduce productivity and overall output.
By Nsikak Idim (BEng MFE GMNSE). Culled from:HBR.ORG

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