What is the progression route to a senior management position?

If your goal is to progress to senior management, there are steps you can take along the way to help you prepare and perfectly position yourself for a role at the top level. 

Whether you are looking to work in the private or public sector, in this blog post we explore the path to senior management and the choice of roles available to you. 

What roles are classed as senior management? 

Senior management roles can vary depending on the industry you work in, whether you work in the private or public sector, and the size of the company you work for. However, in most businesses, senior roles sit within mid or top-level management. 

Mid-level managers usually act as a link between the day-to-day business operations and top-level management. The Head of Operations would be an example of a mid-level management role. The Head of Operations is usually responsible for the operational processes within the company, improving efficiency, revising policies, ensuring compliance, and providing strategic advice to top-level managers. 

A Commercial Director is another example of a senior management role. Commercial directors are responsible for a company’s position within the commercial marketplace. Responsibilities may include analysing sales and profits, conducting market research and investigating growth opportunities. They usually work closely with those in top-level management positions to provide their expert advice and guidance on business decisions.  

Top-level senior manager roles include Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), to name a few.  

A CFO’s responsibilities include managing the finance department, financial planning, and making key investment decisions. A CEO, on the other hand, oversees the entire company. They may also be known as the owner or founders of a company. Senior managers will report to you and provide you with the data you need to make critical business decisions.  

What is the best way to get into a management role? 

Securing a management role can take time and hard work. Most employees will need to work their way up to management, securing promotions along the way that help them climb the professional ladder.  

Managers will want to see that you can be relied upon, so meeting deadlines and delivering projects on time and within budget will also demonstrate you are capable of more responsibility.  

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are vital for management. Participating in and chairing meetings, leading presentations, and supporting your colleagues are fantastic ways to show you are management material.  

Look out for opportunities that will provide you with supervisory or managerial experience. Even offering to train and supervise new staff members will demonstrate your willingness to support the team and help you develop the skills you need to become a successful manager.  

Once you feel ready to take the next step, consider applying for a supervisor, team leader, junior manager, or assistant management manager role. These roles allow you to work under a manager and learn from them. You will help them with their day-to-day duties and gain valuable experience in what it takes to be a manager. 

If you feel there are gaps in your knowledge and skills you would like to expand, undertaking further studies and additional courses can be a fantastic addition to your CV. It will also show employers you are taking a proactive to your self-development.  

An MSc Management course can be an excellent option for those wanting to obtain senior managerial positions but lacking the wide range of skills and in-depth knowledge needed to succeed. In a competitive business market, having a master’s qualification can help you stand out as the ideal candidate when applying for senior management roles.

What does the progression to senior manager look like?  

It can take many years to acquire the skills and experience needed to secure a senior management position. However, you can take steps to maximise your chances of success. 

If you are already working in a management position, career progression to senior management may look like applying for roles as an operations manager, head of department or director.  Experience in various roles and responsibilities will show employers you can progress to executive management positions, such as CFO, COO, and eventually, CEO. 

Communicating effectively with team members and stakeholders, managing projects of varying sizes, showing confidence in decision-making and meeting KPIs are all qualities employers look for in a manager and are excellent achievements to add to your CV. 

In addition to experience and personal qualities, you will also need to possess the skills and in-depth knowledge required to progress to senior managerial positions. One way to obtain this is with an MSc Management qualification, such as the fully online and part-time programme offered by the University of Liverpool.

The programme has been developed by experts from the University’s triple-accredited (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS) Management School with a curriculum that blends management skills such as decision-making, learning, development, and strategy with core business skills that are tailored to the needs of management practice. 

As part of the programme, you will be able to connect with fellow professionals worldwide and learn about business management on a global scale. The level of support you receive is the same as an on-campus course, the only difference is communication is all done virtually with interactive videos, instant messaging, and online discussions.  

You will have access to all course content, including recorded lectures, learning materials, e-books, and journals on the multi-media platform. You can access them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whenever is convenient for you. 

Once you graduate, you will also join Liverpool’s exclusive Global Career Adviser Network which connects you with leaders in your chosen field to expand career opportunities further. 

If you are looking to progress in your managerial career and are interested to learn more about studying management at the University of Liverpool, look at our online Management MSc course page. Here you will find information on fees, course content and entry requirements.  

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