Engineering managers supervise teams throughout the design and development of a product, making sure that all deadlines are met. As you can imagine, this job requires strong organisational skills and great communication.
As with most engineering roles, no two days are the same and the industry offers many exciting opportunities. If you’re considering taking your career to the next level and becoming an engineering manager, here are our top tips for landing the job.
1. Push yourself beyond your hard skills
Managerial roles require a huge range of skills, so you’ll need to think beyond your technical abilities. You might be an exceptional engineer, but you also need to be a good leader. Some of the most important skills for the role include communication, organisation, critical thinking and motivation.
Take some time to build on your soft skills, perhaps offering to oversee projects or work closely with new members of the team. This will enable you to work on your project management skills, and highlight any areas you may need to work on before you take the next step to becoming a manager.
2. Find a mentor
Undoubtedly, there will be managers in your workplace right now that worked hard to get where they are. Speak to them and ask their advice. They may be able to offer you tips on how to boost your skills, or what you need to do to take the next step in your career.
Finding a mentor also gives you someone to turn to if you’re unsure, and they can help motivate you to keep pushing yourself. Potential mentors might include your current manager or other senior members of staff. Choose someone you believe will really support you in achieving your goals.
3. Practice project management
The best way to prepare yourself for a managerial role is by taking on new responsibilities. Put yourself forward to manage projects or to organise the team. Sometimes when you’re working on a product it can be easy to blend in as just another part of the team. And while teamwork is extremely important, you want to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
One way to do this is by offering to oversee specific tasks and continually motivating your team members. Help others to solve problems and prove that you have the leadership skills required to be a manager.
4. Learn new skills
You’re never too old to learn new skills. Consider taking some additional training courses. You might want to brush up on some of your technical skills or you might want to take a course on how to communicate better. Whatever it is, it’s always good to be learning!
On a similar note, try and gain some more experience. This could be through work or a personal project. All this experience looks great on your CV and shows you’re passionate about your field. So consider this before you apply for the engineering manager role.
Overall the role of an engineering manager is varied. If you’re considering taking the next step in your career, take some time to work on your leadership skills and find yourself a mentor to help you along the way.