4 Tactics to Land Your First Leadership Position

There isn’t a clear technique or a set of strategies that can guarantee you a leadership position. However, there are certain steps and strategies you can take to boost your chances of getting your first leadership position.

Take ownership of your career

No one has your absolute best interest at heart or knows exactly what you want other than yourself. Don’t wait for someone to claim a career for you. You have to claim it for yourself. Own the career you desire even if it’s not the one you currently have. Once you accept ownership, then you can begin to make decisions to move your career forward.

Master the technical skills of your current job

I have interviewed many women leaders in government and a common theme I found was that they were able to obtain their first leadership position by mastering the technical skills and competencies of their non-leadership position. Exceeding and delivering on your current job shows those in management your potential and value.

Demonstrate some of the competencies and skills for your next job (in this case – the leadership position)

While you are in your current position, begin to demonstrate the skills and competencies for the next job you desire. By doing so, you are demonstrating to those in management your interest and commitment to take the next step. This is a crucial step especially for inter-office promotions. However, this is also an important step for external positions (outside your office) because during the interview process, the interviewers are looking to see if you have any or all of the skills for the job you applied for.

Verbalize your career goals to those of influence

There is a common saying that action speaks louder than words. By mastering the technical skills of your current job and demonstrating the competencies and skills of your next job, you are showing your readiness for leadership. However, never assume that because you are the best at your job that you will get the job you want. Others cannot know what you want or your career desires without you voicing your goals and desires. Therefore, inform those with influence of your goals and desires. These individuals can be your supervisor/manager, the director/leader of your office, or anyone else in your agency with influence.

These 4 tactics will put you on the right track for landing your first leadership position. Be open-minded and own YOUR career. For additional details on this topic, check out my book, Women in Government: 10 Key Strategies to Advance Your Career.


Originally posted at League of Women in Government on February 2, 2016