Recent grad? Interested in really taking your career to the next level? One way to make sure that you start out in a company the right way would be to try to get into a management trainee program. This is where you get to experience the first layer of management, address ongoing problems in the company, and get used to handling a small group of people. Management training is great because no one expects you to get everything right from the first day. There are challenges, of course. If you’re the type of person that shies away from telling other people want to do in a constructive manner, then such a program isn’t going to be very helpful for you.
On the other hand, if you really like the challenge of motivating people to work efficiently and productively, then a management trainee program is great. Here are three tips that you need to keep in mind if you’re going to go into this line of work:
1. Ask Questions
If you want to really survive an organization, you have to work on both the written rules of the company, and the unwritten rules of the company. How do you learn about the unwritten rules? You ask questions. As people explain the company to you, they’ll give you personal pieces of advice that help you navigate the company better.
As a side note to asking questions, keep in mind that you want to steer clear of any gossip or rumors in the office. Stick to asking questions about work, not necessarily about other people. It’s one thing to ask questions because you admire someone’s work, and it’s another thing entirely to ask for gossip on the person. The less you gossip, the higher you will go!
2. Be Assertive Without Being Aggressive
When you’re one of the newest people in an organization, you do yourself a disservice by being aggressive. We’re not trying to make this about gender, of course. Being pushy as a guy is just as unacceptable as being pushy as a woman. You have to take time to learn the unique culture that you’re going into. Pushing too hard and too fast makes people dislike you. Whether it’s fair or unfair, you stay at a job based on whether people actually like working with you or not. If they don’t care to work with you, you can indeed be pushed out the door in one way or another.
So, the key here is assertiveness, not aggression. Assertiveness is about being polite, giving people a chance to speak, and avoiding escalation. You can state your points in a way that doesn’t make people feel like you’re putting them down. Don’t make excuses for your behavior — learn to speak to people without coming off arrogant, snide, condescending, or plain rude.
3. Take Credit for Your Ideas
One of the biggest mistakes that managers in training make is that they do not take credit for their ideas. They try to do everything in their power to avoid standing out, which hurts their career. The people that move up fastest in the company are the ones that are visibly seen contributing something to the organization. If you’re the person that has all of the great ideas but you never draw attention to them or you allow others to take your ideas, then you’re not going to progress as quickly. In fact, if you never speak up this becomes a negative factor that could keep you from having a job at all. As the economy declines, companies are looking for people that are going to be willing to wear multiple hats and do what they need to in order to move the company forward as a whole. If you’re not one of those people, you will not last a manager long.
Many recent grads come into a job and feel that they’re beneath doing a task. You have to realize that youíre at the bottom rungs of management and you’ll need to work hard to move up. It’s better to think that way than to just assume you can coast by. Working hard will take you plenty of places!