Can Your Middle Management Skills Help You Get Ahead -Articles, Videos, How-To's

Even if you've been working as a manager for a long time and are good at the job, would you like to move ahead in your company? You aren't alone. While it is natural to want to move ahead, it is even more important in times of recession, when it seems like middle management is an easy target for layoffs.

Whether you want to get promoted, want to make changes at your company or want a better job after moving on, you need to demonstrate that your middle management skills would apply to top positions at any company. Here's how:

Know what you do. You may be asked to justify your role, and you should be able to list your best skills without any trouble. Think about what you do and how vital it is to the company's performance. If you think your justification is underwhelming, then perhaps you need to ask for more responsibility or a change in position so you can learn something new about another part of the company, which will make you more valuable.

Evaluate yourself and your team. As a middle manager, you have a team, so think of your team as a business within the business. You're actually the CEO. Having a good relationship with your team and letting them know how and why each choice you make benefits the company-which, in turn, benefits their careers-can only build you up in your company's eyes. If your team doesn't know you are there or sees you as more of a hindrance than a help, it's time to change how you are perceived.

Make a splash within your team. Once you have your team's trust, you can start carving out your own niche. It isn't enough to do what you are told or work the longest hours. That's what it takes to be a middle manager, but not a senior manager. You need to demonstrate that you have a fresh perspective. So, if you don't get more responsibility from the top, create it yourself. Look at what your team can do differently to save money and become more efficient.

Promote yourself. Now that you know what you do and are out there in the trenches doing it, you need to let your own managers know. Keep track of all the changes you have made, particularly the numbers. A little self-promotion is what got you to the position of manager in the first place, right?

Consider moving jobs or careers. While you can't exactly make a move in a recession, you should take the opportunity to improve your skills and rack up good performance reviews. Everything you learn in your current position, you can take with you or use it to build your own company. After all, you've done something right to make it this far.

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