How to Progress Your Career if you Don’t Want to be a Manager


We often measure career growth by how far we have made it up the corporate ladder, however aiming for management isn’t the only way you can progress. When it comes to building a satisfying career, becoming a manager and taking on the responsibilities of a management role isn’t for everyone. In some instances, being manager could actually take you away from some of the aspects of your job that you actually enjoy them most.

If management isn’t a path that appeals to you, there are still plenty of ways for your career to progress and move to the next level. Here are some options that you may want to consider.

1. Look for ways you can grow within your role

You can grow your career without taking a step upwards. Many roles offer opportunities to develop within the position this could be by taking on more responsibility, a greater variety of projects, more prestigious assignments or deeper work. When you’re looking for new opportunities it’s worth asking about what growth looks like within the role as opposed to what’s beyond it.

2. Make a sideways step to a bigger company

If you don’t want to become a big fish in your small pond, look for a bigger pond to move into. Working for a larger company or a more prestigious brand is a fantastic way to progress your career and have more opportunities to grow and take on responsibility.

For example, if you work in sales a bigger company could offer you a larger sales territory or higher value clients.

3. Hone or broaden your skill set

If you’re not interested in spending your time on developing managerial skills, then instead you can focus on furthering your current skills and expertise. You may want to perfect your sales pitch, master some of the tools in your industry or become a financial-modelling wiz. Finding a niche specialism in your role that you thoroughly enjoy and can thrive in will give you career satisfaction and you can still make it to the top of your field without managing others.

4. Move into a consulting role

Once you have built up your expertise and experience and can confidently call yourself an expert in your field, you could go solo and take on a consulting role. This can offer you a lot more freedom and flexibility to manage your work and your work-life balance. You’ll also have full control over your career growth and can set your own goals and metrics to measure success i.e. revenue or reach.

Bringing it all together

If you know that management isn’t the right path for you, there are plenty of other ways you can progress your career. Just ensure that you decide how you want to measure your success and continue to set yourself targets and goals. Then you can achieve more and have career satisfaction.


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