At some point, many recruiters and account managers start asking themselves, “What’s next?” Perhaps they’ve achieved the success they wanted to achieve as salespeople and they’re looking for the next challenge. For some, that challenge could come in the form of a promotion, perhaps to a team leader or management role. You’ve proven yourself as a successful salesperson, so why aren’t the managers knocking on your cubicle and asking you to level up?
Reason #1: You assume that managers know your intentions.
Have you had a conversation with your management team to let them know what you plan to accomplish during your tenure with your agency? Have you asked what you need to do in order to make that happen? Communication is a two-way street. Make sure your manager knows that you are interested in promoting. And if you have had that conversation already, make sure you’re consistently bringing it up to ask how your chances are looking, and what else you can be working on to ensure you have a shot at the promotion.
Reason #2: You think being a successful recruiter/account manager automatically qualifies you for a management role.
While it’s true that you have to have some pretty solid traits to be a successful salesperson - determination, resilience, passion, and consistency, for example - this certainly does not automatically translate to being a strong leader or manager. Leaders and managers (the good ones, anyway) must have rock-solid people skills and soft skills and must be willing to be empathetic and vulnerable. Many successful salespeople work extremely well on their own and don’t need a lot of management. However, you will likely have people on your team who don’t operate that way and you need to be able to motivate all types of individuals. As a recruiter or account manager, you only need to worry about motivating yourself.
Reason #3: Your communication style is a little rough around the edges.
If you’re one of those people who says things like, “I’m just keeping it real!” during meetings and company-related functions, you may want to do a little self-assessing to make sure that your “keeping it real” isn’t being translated as being negative or obstinate. While there is certainly a place and time for direct communication, perception is reality, and if others perceive you as being resistant to new policies, procedures, staff, etc., despite your best intentions, you will have a difficult time shaking your reputation. Strong leaders are those who are able to communicate effectively, which sometimes means holding our tongue until a better opportunity to express our opinions presents itself.
Reason #4: You tend to put the “I” in “TEAM”.
As mentioned previously, many successful recruiters and account managers tend to devote 100% of their time and energy into growing their businesses, and often don’t take the time to help develop those around them. If you want to be seen as a leader, you have to look at your success from the bigger picture. There are a LOT of other people involved, that without them, you wouldn’t be able to achieve half of what you are able to achieve as a recruiter/AM. How often do you collaborate with your payroll team to identify ways that you can make each other’s jobs easier? How many times have you offered to sit with a “rookie” member of your team to help them organize their desks? This is what it means to be a team player, and you gotta be one if you’re going to be a good manager.
Reason #5: It’s just not the right time (yet).
Even though you’ve crossed all your t’s and dotted your i’s, there is still an element that is out of your control, which is whether your agency is ready to promote you (or anyone) yet or not. There are a lot of decisions that have to be made behind the scenes in order for your management team to even approve a new position to begin with, so don’t get too discouraged if the opportunity doesn’t present itself right away. Trust that the skills you will develop while waiting for that opportunity to come around will serve you well, in the present and in the future, no matter what type of career you land in. Control what you can control until it’s your time!
Communicate your expectations, develop those around you, assess your soft skills, and work directly with your managers to identify your strengths and areas of opportunity to ensure that whenever the promotion does happen, you will be as prepared as possible. If you’d like any additional advice, please reach out to any of the Moxie team members, and we will be glad to help!