I was after two weeks during my first 3months summer internship in an American Bank,
when I asked one of the more senior analysts (Michal) the following:
“Hey Michal, how long does it normally take to become a manager?”
Michal said: “10 years”
Yes, you read it correctly.
If I wanted to go down that managerial path (at the age of 23), it would mean I would become a manager only 10 years after – at the age of 33.
Waiting 10 years for becoming a manager? No way.
At the age of 25 years old,
I was a manager in one of the major FMCG companies – leading a team of 10 people in the data industry.
If you want to learn how to go from Analyst to Manager – keep reading here.
How to go from Analyst to Manager
Normally you start in a corporation as an analyst,
and you start to progress up the ladder promotion after promotion until you reach the manager/senior manager/director level.
Of course, being a manager it is not for everyone,
however, if you are clear you want to reach out to the managerial position as soon as possible – consider following these tips & tricks that worked very nicely with me.
Identify your role models and copy them
Exactly as you read it – copy your role models.
If your role model is a director in the organization – copy her end to end.
How does she write the emails? – Write them in the same way.
How does she speak in public? – Talk in the same way.
How does she prepare PowerPoints? – Prepare them in the same way.
If she is a director and she is writing emails, speaking in public and preparing PowerPoints, in a certain way, chances are high that her method works.
Just go – copy her.
And if you have any questions?
Of course ask her.
Analysts tend to think that senior managers and directors are people that you should not bother, rather the opposite. Normally they will love explaining to you how they got there.
Remember a few years ago, your director was exactly in the same position you are today.
Get a mentor
In case you don’t know what is a mentor,
a mentor is a person, normally inside your organization, who can support you and guide you with your career.
The mentor (if possible, try to get a mentor at least a couple of levels higher than your current level) will show you the way, based on his/her experience, to reach your career goals.
You can have as many mentors as you need,
the sweets spot is good to have max 2-3 mentors that you meet monthly, where you seek for their advice and experience for recent work-related topics.
If you don’t feel brave enough about asking for a mentor inside your organization,
drop me a note at email@example.com and we can work out the details together in a one-on-one session.
Be curious and ask questions
Ask questions to your mentors, to your manager, to other managers…
Ask them, ask as many questions as you need.
There is nothing such as a manual of “What to do for being a manager”
(I am trying to build such a manual here hehe)
The only way it is by understanding why your managers are doing what they do.
If your manager decides to split the workload in a way that caught you off guard, be curious to ask.
If she can share, she will share it.
If she can’t share it, because it is the confidential topic, acknowledge that and avoid asking any further on that topic.
As in many things in life,
the best way to learn is by asking the people who already achieved what you want to achieve.
Put yourself in your manager’s shoes
Change your mindset and start to think as a manager.
If I were a manager, what would I do in such a case?
Imagine there is a big peak of workload – and people on vacation and sick leaves and your manager need to split the workload with the remaining people.
Think about what you would do and compare to what your manager does.
There is a vacancy in the team, and you know your manager is managing the recruitment – if you were in her shoes what would you like to ask the candidates and what you would expect to hear?
The fastest way to become a manager is by thinking as a manager.
This will help you in the long run when you become a manager, you will have under your belt of all these hypothetical cases you managed “in your head”.
And if any questions…
you know what to do, right? Ask the question!
Show your leadership behaviours
Imagine there is a weekly meeting with 20+ people,
and your manager is asking for a volunteer to lead this weekly meeting.
You are sitting behind your screen thinking:
“Oh it would be so good, but I am not ready, I would be so stressed”
Swallow those feelings,
and even if you don’t feel ready, go for it!
As the adage says, “Practice makes perfect”.
Pay attention to what the previous leaders of the meeting were doing in the past and try to replicate it.
Once you feel comfortable, give it your personal “touch”.
For example – bringing every week at the beginning of the meeting a business-related topic, showing the latest Outlook shortcut you learnt or the recommendation of the latest book you read.
Try to make it out of that meeting, the meeting everyone in the team for sure does not want to miss.
That’s in a way what leadership is about,
taking on a challenge that you don’t feel ready for, managing the challenge, giving the challenge “your personal touch” and positively influencing others.
Learn how to Delegate
One of the major challenges of going from Analyst to Manager is learning how to delegate.
When you are an analyst, you get a task, you execute it and that’s it – end of the process!
However, when you are a manager, this really changes!
You will get plenty of tasks flowing to you.
Your first desire, coming from an analyst mindset, will be managing all the tasks yourself.
Wrong, mistake – you are setting up yourself for failure.
That’s not your role.
Your role as manager is to manage both the team and the tasks flowing to the team.
Your team will only be only as effective as you will be delegating tasks.
Management is not for everyone
Before making the jump,
consider if becoming a manager is really what you want.
To manage your expectation, some elements you may want to to consider if you want or you dont want to become a manager:
Organize your time properly
You will see how out of a sudden you do not have time for anything.
The number of meetings will considerably increase, both in business and with people.
It is key to have a full focus on your team members while having the 121 connects.
Same as with the meetings,
when you jump into a managerial position the number of emails landing in your inbox will become bigger and bigger.
Many of them will be you appearing in cc – for the just in case
Learn how to prioritize.
You will become the first point of contact for your team, and you will notice how you are getting considerably contacted more for any issue that arises.
Prioritizing will be the key to success in your new role as manager.
FAQ in transition from Analyst to Manager
Can I switch from analyst to Manager?
Yes, it is possible to switch from analyst to manager.
In fact, most of the people you see in leadership positions, started their careers being analysts.
Make sure you work on the core managerial skills: Communication and people management on top of the specifics of the role.
How do I move from worker to manager?
There are two main elements that are contributing to the move from worker to manager. First is to deliver the business results and second is to show the leadership behaviours that will make you a good fit to hold a managerial position in a near future.
How do I train myself to be a manager?
The best way to train yourself to be a manager is to be exposed to real-life situations when managerial skills are needed. Talking in public – you can always attend Toastmasters sessions in your local town or online. Managing a big group of people – you can always organize a trip/ dinner for your friends and arrange all the logistics behind it. Think about real-life situations where managerial skills would be needed, at taking the lead.
How do you get promoted to manager fast?
There are no shortcuts, in each company, there are “Standard” timings” in terms of how long it takes to promote to manager. If you are looking for a fast promotion, you will need to ensure you consistently deliver business results way above what it is expected and on top develop the skills that would you the best fit to be the next manager. These skills are people management, conflict resolution, delegate tasks……
What are the 3 main skills that you need as a manager?
The 3 main skills for being successful as a manager are – in line with MisterPaton principles – Communication, Excel, and Outlook Management. With those 3 skills higher than the average chances are very high you will be successful as a Manager in any major corporation
What is the #1 skill that you need as a manager?
The number #1 skill that you will need for being successful is the manager is to learn how to manage people, how to influence them and how to win them in your favour. If you don’t know where to start I recommend you the book “How to win friends and influence people”