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Becoming a leader isn’t just about getting that big promotion. You’ll have to earn your employer’s confidence, which means showing that you have the qualities of a leader. This guide offers suggestions for honing your leadership skills and developing the network of support you’ll need to step into your new role.

Develop a Leadership Skill Set

Even though you have an interest in becoming a leader in your workplace, you may not be proficient enough in the necessary skills. Areas you can work on include developing your sense of self-awareness, so you can see how your actions affect those around you. Additionally, look for ways to improve your communication skills. This involves learning to listen attentively in addition to learning how to communicate more effectively. Observe your own leaders to identify more skills that you may need to develop further.

Show Your Interest in Advancement

While you may have verbally shared your interest in advancement, your employer wants to see you exhibit the qualities of a good leader. This means reaching out to others in the workplace for insight and advice. You might even consider asking one of your own managers to mentor you. Another way to show you can handle the role of leader is by exhibiting your willingness to work with others in a team environment. When you can bring others together to complete a project in spite of personal differences, you’ll show your managers that you’re mature enough to handle leadership roles.

Don’t Dismiss the Importance of Networking

As soon as you take on your first position in your chosen career field, you should be networking with others. While this does involve forming lasting relationships with co-workers and supervisors, this also includes reaching out to those in other industries. From truck drivers and warehouse workers to top level managers, everyone has something of value to offer you. The bigger your network, the more support you’ll have in advancing your career and in finding new opportunities.

These steps can give you the traits and resources you’ll need to step into your first leadership position. As you begin leading a team, you’ll find that these resources will continue to benefit you. As you move further up the ladder, continuing to improve or broaden these resources will help you become an even more valued leader.