Have you started to think about the next leadership role you’d like to be in?
Maybe you currently feel content in your current position. But it’s still worth thinking about where you’d like to be in five or ten years. After all, you never know when an opportunity will come up. So it’s better to be ready than to miss out because you haven’t prepared yourself.
But how do you do this? Do you need to create a career development plan, or can it be less formal? Here are some ideas that can help kickstart your thinking.
Speak to Leaders in That Position
One of the best places to start is chatting to the people in the positions you aspire to be in. It could be your current boss. If you’re not comfortable speaking to them about wanting their job, then chat with anyone in similar positions.
Make sure you’re prepared with questions. What do you want to know about the role and the experience of being in that position? You want to get something tangible that you can use to further your development. Don’t expect to nail it the first time. If you can, make these catchups a regular occurrence.
Chat With the Managers of Those Positions
Another person worth speaking to is the individual who manages the leadership role you want to be in. They can provide a different insight into the position. This might be their managerial style as well as what they expect from the candidate when recruiting for the job.
Once again, you’ll need to be prepared for this meeting. Pick the brain of the manager and find out what they’re looking for. It’s also worth asking how can this position make their job easier. Again, you’re looking for tangible information you can use to develop your skills and experience.
Identify the Skills or Experience You Need
It seems obvious, but sometimes your view of what skills and experience are needed can be based purely on your perspective. There are often additional attributes that you don’t see because you’re not in the same room or don’t have the same access as other people might.
For example, they might need to influence or negotiate with colleagues to get funding for projects or assistance for initiatives. This type of skill might not be required when they work closely with you. But they are essential as you move up the ladder.
Ask to Step In When That Person is on Leave
To get a feel for what it’s like to be in your next leadership role, ask the manager of that position if you can step in while they’re away on annual or sick leave. There’s nothing like hands-on experience to develop your skills and to provide the manager with an idea of what you would bring to the table if it was yours.
If the opportunity to apply for the position comes up, then you can use these experiences as examples in your interview. You can also discuss how you can provide a seamless experience for the direct reports as they’re already familiar with you and your leadership style.
Make Time to Prepare Yourself for Your Next Leadership Role
Don’t leave it too late. The sooner you start preparing for your next leadership role, the higher chance you’ll be successful when you apply for it. Don’t be afraid to speak to as many people as you can and ask for as much hands-on experience as possible.
If you need help preparing for your next leadership role, then make sure to follow the Better Boss Blog. You’ll find tips and advice on how to get ready. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so you never miss a post.