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How to develop your career without becoming a manager



In many modern corporations the path of career progression is clear; become a manager and then keep working your way up the hierarchy. But that doesn’t have to be the only way to develop your career and achieve a sense of professional satisfaction. 
How to develop your career without becoming a manager
In fact, managerial work can even take you away from the aspects of your job you love the most. Just because you are not interested in presiding over a team doesn’t mean you have to abandon a career path. In fact, there are plenty of ways that you can grow professionally without moving into management.

As an aside, it’s also important to consider the lesson of The Peter Principle. This principle observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their “level of incompetence”. In other words, an ‘employee is promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another’. 

So, before you unthinkingly accept that promotion to manager, you might want to read the rest of this article first…

Here are the top 4 ways you can develop your career without becoming a manager.
Concentrate on in-role advancement to develop your career

Concentrate on in-role advancement

You don’t necessarily have to take a step-up to managing people to stretch yourself professionally. Instead, focus on developing yourself within your current role; take on a broader variety of projects, more prestigious assignments, deeper more challenging work, or more responsibility (e.g. leading on projects, or coordinating a series of projects within your team or department). 

If you’re looking for another role, then be sure to ask the hiring manager what opportunities they have for development and growth within roles.
One way of developing your career without becoming a manager is to make a sideways move to a bigger or more prestigious company

Make a sideways move to a bigger or more prestigious company

You may get a new job with the same job title as your previous position, but if it’s at a bigger or more prestigious company you’ll likely find that you are in a position to develop and grow simply because of the new set of challengers working for a bigger company presents. 

Working for a larger or more prestigious company can present you with a whole set of rewarding experiences and challenges. For example, you may move from a company that has operations in one country, to a new employer which has operations internationally. Or you may move from a company that only offers a limited range of services, to a company which offers many more services.

Put simply- a sideways move to a bigger company can help you develop and grow as much, if not more, than a promotion at your current employer.
Going freelance is an excellent way of developing your career without resorting to management.

Become freelance

If you want to develop and grow your professional experience without becoming a manager, there is always the freelance option. If you have enough expertise and experience in your chosen field, then you can deploy your skills in a consulting role.

This has route can have many advantages including ‘being your own boss’, being able to set your own development goals, and can also be financially more lucrative as there is theoretically no limit on what you can earn.
By becoming an expert in your chosen field you can progress without having to choose the management route.

Become an expert

Becoming a manager often means that you have to take a step away from your chosen field and concentrate more of your time on people management. If you don’t want to become a manager, then you are free to really devote your time to becoming a true subject matter expert. 

Without the hassle of having to manage others you can hone the skills that make you stand out in the job market, whether that’s perfecting your sales pitch, pursuing professional engineering qualifications, becoming a financial modelling wizard, or mastering every detail of every project management tool out there.

Stepping outside of management can also give you a chance to expand your skills outward from your specific discipline. Adding additional skills can radically increase your employability factor as well as giving you more ammunition to command a higher salary in future.

Ready to make the next move in your career?

If you’ve decided that management isn’t for you, but the time is right for a new job then register with Fircroft today to receive job alerts matched to your skills and experience, or explore our current job vacancies now.
Recent Comments
This is inspiring i tend to be a freelance electrician and this information will help me to advance.
Linos sinkala , 17 April 2019
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