Stepping your way up to a senior-level position definitely takes some finessing. Sometimes the segue is a mélange of good timing, and in other instances, it might be positioning yourself into a senior leader role by improving your skills or by taking a stronger leadership role in critical moments.
Find your way to a senior leader role with these tips:
Allow others to see you as a senior leader.
If you’re in a leadership role, the best way for your boss to envision you as a senior leader is to start acting like one. Go outside of your traditional role (and outside of your comfort zone, too), and take on new challenges or volunteer to solve pesky problems. That way, you can utilize new skills and highlight your senior leadership skills.
Find your focus.
While you might want to dive in and tackle larger-scale projects, you should try to narrow your focus instead. Look for areas in which your expertise can have a bigger wow factor and impress your boss. It might be addressing animosity between two teams, streamlining front-facing customer service support, or looking at efforts to improve remote recruiting and retention. After all, if you show that you’re concentrating on things that can have a large-scale impact on the company, it shows that you have a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a senior leader.
It’s not enough that you want to be a senior leader—you have to know how to act like one. Look at other senior-level leaders to get a glimpse into how they work. What are their managerial styles like? How do they keep a sense of company culture alive, even in a remote work environment? Study how they make decisions and how they handle conflict in the workplace. Once you have an idea of what it takes to be a senior leader, you can begin to adopt some of their styles while still maintaining your own.
Communicate your intentions.
Unless you make your intentions known, it can be almost impossible for your boss to know that you’re ready to move up the career ladder to a senior leader position, especially if you’re working remotely. That’s why you should schedule a meeting with your boss to let him know what you really want. Express your interest in a senior leadership role, and back up your request with examples of how you’ve already exhibited senior leader behavior. Especially if you’re happy with the company you’re already working for, it can be easier to ask for a promotion rather than launching a new job search. But if your request is denied, you might want to consider finding a senior leader role elsewhere.
Rewrite your resume.
If you’re looking for a senior leader remote job, your resume should reflect your desired career choice, not the job you currently have or had in the past. Instead of focusing on your job responsibilities as a leader, you should spotlight the moments in which you acted more as a senior leader. For example, you can focus on team successes, business innovation, expansion into new or unexplored markets, and revenue impact. Your resume should reflect your aptitude in being comfortable leading a team at a senior level.
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