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How to Progress from Analyst to Manager
The critical difference between an analyst and a successful project manager is the ability to think around the client requirements to get to the core of what the client needs. This often means being resourceful in thinking around the obstacles and presenting clients with solutions not problems. Making the transition between being an analyst and a skilled consultant in the way work is approached can lead to getting the promotion to manager.
Develop a Positive Attitude
Research shows that a positive, energetic person is more likely to be promoted quicker and paid more. The principle behind this is simple: in a stressful working environment, people prefer working with cheerful and positive individuals.
The litmus test of a positive attitude is how well an individual performs under stress. It is easy to be positive when things are going well, but it is when you face pressures and obstacles that you demostrate your true attitude. A positive attitude looks to be constructive to every situation and circumstance, not distructive.
Central to developing a positive attitude is learning the skill to 'let go' of past stresses, criticisms, dissapointments etc that hold us back in performing at our best NOW. Many individuals find breathing and meditation processes useful in being able to do so.
Find a Good Mentor
A mentor is someone you can discusses with openly and confidentially work related issues. A mentor should be more experienced than you (perhaps at manager or senior manager level), and good mentors can point out your areas of weaknesses, make suggestions for improvements, congratulate your successes, and essentially steer your career path. It is important your mentor is not your boss, ideally in your organisation. A mentor can also function as a champion to your successes and a cheerleader to promote your visibility throughout the organisation.
Be on The Radar
It is important to 'be on the radar' of senior management. This can involve volunteering for team-wide projects, running training / knowledge sharing workshops, being proactive in sharing insights, or even simply attending work-related social events. The key thing is to gain recogniton so that you stand out from your peers. It's worth noting that a senior managers are always "talent spotting" and hence you you never know who is watching you!
Present yourself professionally
It's suprising how many analysts fall down on this simple point. The key message here is to dress for the position you want, not the position you currently have! Communication, whether written or verbal, shoudl be professional, clear and succinct.
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