How To Become A Manager By Age 35

There are some obvious ways to move up the proverbial “food chain” in your office or company. Achieve numbers or goals that are set for you and/or are considered high in your field of work. This shows that you at least know what you are doing and could possibly train someone else to get to those levels as well. As mentioned in “How to know if you really want a new job,” on average, employees stay in their current role for around three-and-a-half years. With those numbers, if you stay at your job for longer, say six, nine, or even 12 years, you’ll eventually become the senior member of the team. A lot of the time, those senior members on teams get the first crack at a manager role if and when it opens up.

These two things hard work and often take a substantial amount of time. I’m not trying to say becoming a manager is easy, but there are some things that can make it easier and a quicker process that a lot people fail to do.

Let Your Aspirations Be Known

Don’t assume one or all of your superiors know that you want to move up in the company. There are plenty of employees that are completely comfortable staying where they are career-wise. These people love what they do on a day-to-day basis and don’t see any need or have any want to move up. To each their own. If you don’t happen to be one of those people, you have to tell someone. Telling your superior will help them strategize better to get you to that point the quickest. They’re obviously in a position similar so they might even be able to become your mentor in this journey with advice on how they did it.

Show Initiative

Showing initiative is a great way to get yourself noticed by management. I have several examples of this dealing with your everyday activity at work. The first one is doing things without having to be asked to do them. Number two is being a “get it done” employee. Whether asked to do something or not, figure it out and get it done. The more you can take off your manager’s plate the better. The last is doing tasks that aren’t on your actual job description. Management and co-workers for that matter notice when someone is being a team player. If this is a constant trait of yours they will remember when it comes to deciding on a new leader.

Find Ways to Show Leadership Qualities

Managers are leaders. Learn how to become one. It shouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that when the decision makers are deciding on a new manager for an office or team in their company, they want someone who has shown or believe will show, tremendous leadership skills. The more you can put these skills to the forefront the easier it will be for the decision makers to see that. Offer to train or mentor a new employee! Or maybe even better, find a task that you can take off your managers’ hands.


Become a practitioner of whatever it is you do. Know the role, know the terms, know how to do your job better than anyone else on your team. With the internet always at your fingertips, there should be no excuse for not knowing something. Read helpful blogs, read helpful books, or you can even connect with someone in your industry on social media to share insights and ideas. As long as they aren’t working for a direct competitor, and even sometimes if they are, there are always new things to learn. Whether you’re looking for new ways to find leads or looking for ideas on how to break up your day, most people will want to help. Utilize your network and it will start working for you.

Be a Good Human

The easiest and best way to get noticed enough to move up in the company is to be and do good! I am a definite believer in karma and if you do good things without expecting anything in return, good things come back around.

Most everything I just mentioned is geared towards moving up in the current company you’re working at. But they all apply even if you’re looking for a promotion outside of your current company. All of these things can be talked about in an interview and possibly even added to your resume. Maybe you’re even in a situation that your current boss can be a reference for you. They can speak to all of this in a reference call as well! You just never know what can happen when you set yourself up to be an asset to your company.

Adam lives in Grimes, IA with his wife Sara, son Asher and daughter Avery. Adam is also a Technical Recruiter for Beacon Hill Staffing and co-founder of Sprout Media. He enjoys networking, connecting like minded individuals, and the Northern Iowa Panthers.

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