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Setting goals can be a critical part of your career planning. The goal of many employees in retail or other businesses is promotion into management. Management positions usually have a higher level of prestige and pay. A typical career path to management involves becoming an assistant manager. If you set goals, monitor your results and work hard, you may have a chance to enter management through this position.
Upper management seeks to promote employees into assistant management positions who they believe could eventually be upper management material. Set a goal to perform your existing job functions as well as you can. Be punctual, consistent and dependable in your role as these are traits management will seek in an assistant. Perform requested tasks with effort and attention to detail. Demonstrate a commitment to your company by staying positive about it even when others do not.
Study the habits of top performers and emulate them, if possible. Communicate with and inquire of your manager regarding your job performance. Ask about ways you can improve, and be sure to implement what your manager advises. If you work in a sales capacity, role-play with management to try out new sales techniques. Accept positive criticism in areas where you can improve and make them a focus. Do not take a less-than-stellar review personally, but rather make it an opportunity to grow. Consider taking college management or communications classes to supplement your learning.
Leadership is a trait management seeks in an assistant manager. Help other members in your team or department improve by offering positive feedback and suggestions. Be quick to share tips and ideas that help you perform well. Avoid gossip and backstabbing common in some teams. Stay loyal to your manager in these events. Norm Spitzig, writing for Insurance & Financial Advisor's web news explains the importance of loyalty stating, "Office politics might make for a good television sit-com, but they make for a bad assistant manager." Exhibit strong communication skills within your team and be willing to help fellow staff with problems or concerns. Make it a goal to lead by example by performing your job well and in a way that makes the entire team better, not merely makes you stand out.
Management often wants an assistant who will share ideas and help implement them to better the team. Seek to move beyond merely performing your function in the easiest way you can. Instead, consider if there are better alternatives that may improve job efficiency or quality. Take ownership of your job processes as if you own the business and seek to make them better. Communicate these ideas and your intentions with management so they do not think you are avoiding authority. Be quick to volunteer for jobs and committees, even if they do not necessarily represent prestigious positions within the company.
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