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Growth potential is one of the most appealing aspects of a job to the millennial working generation, which is currently the largest age demographic in the American workforce. Beyond simply adding responsibilities to someone’s roster, workers are striving to find opportunities to excel and step into leadership and managerial roles.

Becoming a manager requires diligence, tenacity and, most of all, assertiveness. Those who wait to be handed a leadership position will languish, as the character qualities necessary to perform the role well must be exhibited well in advance.

Becoming a Leader at Work

To get noticed, the first thing someone who desires a managerial position must do is begin to maximize their time at work. This does not mean working overtime unpaid or taking on more than one can handle; on the contrary, it means displaying the ability to prioritize tasks and get the most important ones done without sacrificing quality. At times, this may mean admitting that you do not have the time, capacity, or resources to take on a new task. In essence, it’s about being honest with your managers and yourself.

Employees who aspire to grow must also know how to act like a leader. Body language such as a straight but relaxed posture, affirming eye contact, and strong communication skills are non-negotiable.

Quality leaders do not force their leadership onto others or try to fight their way to the top. They do not need competition to be recognized for their abilities; rather than focusing on what other employees are doing, aspiring managers need to look inward. Being fully aware and in control of how they express themselves and collaborate with others is the stepping stone to success.

Five Tips to Keep in Mind

Anyone who hopes to climb the corporate ladder can benefit from following these five tips. They are generalized in the sense that they capture the inherent qualities of a good leader regardless of their industry. While every company has its own unique demands, a good manager will be able to make things happen and find success by focusing on the following:

  • Develop strong connections, be it through mentorship or alliances with colleagues.
  • Strengthen leadership qualities by finding a coach or mentor.
  • Practice self-awareness and mindfulness in everyday interactions.
  • Identify needs within the company and propose solutions.
  • Implement leadership qualities into everyday conversation like reframing/rephrasing, acknowledging thoughts and practicing active listening.

To become a leader, you should be an innovator, a communicator, and a hard-worker. If you’ve got those traits, you’re already well on your way to becoming a leader in your business.