It’s a very hard challenge to climb up the career ladder when you lack the necessary experience. Competition is so fraught for every job, regardless of how high or low the role is, a lot of us would be begging to have a chance taken on us, although we don’t have the necessary qualifications or know the right people. It seems that a lot of people find their way in via the old adage of who you know, not what you know. It’s the same thing if you’re trying to become a great leader, but you don’t have any prior leadership experience. On the face of it, it would be very unlikely that someone would be willing to give you a chance as a leader because you’ve never demonstrated any capabilities of it. But why a lot of us seem to think that great leaders fall out of the sky, in fact, it is all about developing the right skills. So how are you able to develop these leadership skills without being given the opportunity to do so? Let’s have a look.
Not Being Afraid To Think Differently
One of the more important things about standing out whether you’re looking for that promotion or not is in going against the grain, not in that rogue cowboy way, but actually showing that you are made of different stuff to your contemporaries. We’ve all seen the type of person that expects to get promoted, and they seldom do because of the attitude that they put out. They may display a condescending nature, or they are someone who is a bit of a “know it all” but the reason these people are always passed over for promotion is that, usually, they want to be a leader for the wrong reasons. They are looking at it from the cliched perspective of the leader that sits in their Ivory Tower, gets two-hour lunches and feel they are justified in shouting or belittling people. This isn’t what a leader is about. It’s a fine balance to get right because if you are at the bottom of any career ladder, you want to make sure that you are going for the prime opportunities, but in showing that you are capable of leading a team, you need to show that you’re a cut above. This means not bowing to criticism or pressures, but being your own entity
Striving For Personal Development
We are all unfinished works, so if you are someone who’s got that drive for developing yourself in as many ways as possible, this makes you the right caliber of person when it comes to being a leader. It’s the person who goes home at the end of the day and puts their feet up in front of the TV which is unlikely to have that motivation to progress much further. You have that nagging feeling inside you that your work isn’t done yet and you keep pushing until you find what feels right. And while it is an admirable personality trait to constantly seek out information there is such a thing as working smart as opposed to working hard. A lot of people work hard their entire lives without any sort of pay off, and while they have done honest work for honest pay, it’s the people that can identify the best resources and focus on those that will help and progress further quicker. If you’re looking to be a leader, then you need to identify the right steps to get there or understand the system. That’s where a lot of people fall down they don’t undertake the right research and go about it the smart way.
The best approach is to seek your education online especially when it comes to progressing in a standard business model because the structure of an organization seldom differs (unless you are changing industries). And while there’s a lot of courses, blogs, and articles online about making it to the top, you need to figure out which ones are the best quality. So it’s always beneficial to go for reputable online courses or degrees, or go on sites like LinkedIn and look at the influencers in your particular industry and get inspiration from their journey up to the top. You can get plenty of great ideas from the online TED talks or high-quality seminars. The important thing in researching your progression is not to be so general in your research but nail down exactly what you want, and how to go about it. The person who researches the general area is essentially the person hedging their bets on a generality. Focus and definition are the names of the game when it comes to progressing up any career ladder and getting these leadership roles. Always be learning!
The Fine Details
Running for a leadership position isn’t just about the right mental attitude and ability to research, of course, it’s about the image you present of yourself in every facet, and the first thing that people see will be your resume. This is going to be your first opportunity to show what you are all about and so the skills you need to show need to be managerial or leadership ones. And if you’ve never been in a leadership role before, you can still make the most of the jobs where you’ve had routine tasks to complete but highlight examples of where you took a leadership approach. For example, if you coordinated something at some point, this is a leadership trait. If you succeed the application process and make it to an interview, the important thing is to prepare and to draft important questions about the organization that are well thought out and highlights your interests from the leadership point of view. Such as strategy, product development of the future, or professional development rather than the typical questions about pay, dress code, etc.
The last piece of the puzzle is about confidence. Being a leader means you are able to influence people and bring about change, so you need to demonstrate this ability. For those that haven’t been in a leadership position before it can be tough, especially when it comes to having anxieties about leading people for the first time. But you should take this opportunity to build up this level of confidence which begins with your appearance by dressing professionally. As the saying goes, “dress for the job you want, not the one you have” and if you feel the benefit of techniques like mindfulness and breathing exercises to help you regain focus, then you should do it.
Gunning for a leadership role without prior experience is a massive task, but it’s not an impossible one! The greatest leaders are the ones that are more in-tune with who they are rather than those people that are trying to please everyone. Anybody can be a leader and experience doesn’t have to be the way in. So make yourself into the right person for the job.
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Good luck in your search,