How to Be an Effective Manager in Today’s Job Market


Today’s job market is more competitive than ever. Jobs are at a premium, and managerial positions are ever more difficult to obtain. Achieving and maintaining success as a manager, especially in the current job climate, relates to your willingness to observe, learn and practice new skills. As a woman, the skills you must learn may run counter to some of the ideals that you have become accustomed to in everyday life. Here are some tips to help you hone your management skills and become a more effective leader.

1. Don’t Create an Emotional Quagmire

Many women feel a natural inclination to be nurturing and supportive, and they often work to create a workplace that reflects those qualities. If you have such a disposition, remember that not only does such an environment create a “family” atmosphere, but working in such an environment can also lead to increasing employee expectations and feelings of entitlement. To help your employees view you as a manager and avoid role confusion, be sure to allow them some emotional distance.

2. Focus on Your Team Strengths Not Your Own

While you were working your way up the ladder, you became accustomed to honing your own strengths and abilities. As a woman, it is likely that you were required to prove yourself to a greater extent than your male counterparts. Once you enter the world of management, you must resist the inclination to focus on your strengths as an individual and focus your attention on promoting the strengths of your team.

3. Be a Team Supporter Not a Team Player

In conjunction with your shift of focus to your team, once you enter management you must shift your attitude toward that of being a solid support system for a team of productive employees. You will still be a “team player” in the sense that you will assist, support, manage and promote your team, but you will shift your paradigm from being a “producer” to that of being a “supporter.”

4. Learn to Admit Your Mistakes

When you’re working your way to the top, it becomes difficult, and sometimes dangerous from a career perspective, to admit that you’ve fouled up. Once you have graduated to management, it becomes essential for you to be able to look your employees in the eye and admit that you were wrong. Your employees will respect you, and they will know that they can trust that you “have their backs.”

5. Work to Garner Respect not Popularity

No manager is happy when she does not have the respect of her employees. Some women feel that popularity with their employees eventually leads to being respected by them. While this theory may be true in some cases, more often than not it is the manager who makes the crucial but unpopular decisions that eventually earns the respect of her team.

Today’s workforce is constantly in flux, and women are rising to top management positions more frequently than ever before. If you have been recently promoted, or if you have been at the management level for quite some time, the tips presented here can help you achieve and maintain a position as an outstanding team leader.

Kylie Wright is a full-time writer for higher ed blogs and journals nationwide with a focus on online education opportunities.  Several schools offer online degrees in business, including Norwich University and University of New Haven.

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