Management career in Uganda: What is there to know?
Management can be defined as the elaboration of corporate objectives, definition of an action-plan to reach these objectives, monitoring the performance and adjusting strategic planning. It consists mostly of the allocation of resources of a company to different departments or projects to reach an organization’s objectives. It is a very vague term that relates mostly to high level executive jobs, usually with several years of experience. Management also includes the managing of people and leadership skills.
While Uganda is undergoing strong economic growth, demand for managers is growing rapidly for two main reasons:
On the one hand, there are a number of auto entrepreneurs who started out in the informal sector and saw their business grow rapidly. They have quickly found themselves in charge of something they did not master and are often looking for some experienced managers to help them define their strategy and come up with an action plan.
On the other hand, a number of Transnational Companies chose to enter the market in Uganda , motivated by the rapid growth of consumption in the country and by the future prospects it promises. Those big organisations need to find local managers with a good understanding of the market to make a successful market entry. They are therefore on the lookout for local, skilled project managers and leaders.
Management is everywhere. In the public sector as much as in the private, every organisation needs to rationalise its use of resources and to optimize its processes to reach its objectives.
What kind of management jobs can I find in Uganda?
Most management jobs are intended for people who already have a certain number of years of professional experience in their field. The first step would be to get some experience, at an entry level, for example in an analyst job, a secretary job, or a developer job depending on your skillset. The next step would be to land a project manager job, in which you would be in charge of a project from the beginning to the end, or a business development manager job for example.
After that, you could advance to managing director or a Chief Officer. Depending on your specialisation, you could land a job as Chief Marketing Officer, or Chief Technical or Financial Officer for example. The next natural step would be to climb up to Chief Executive Officer, however, you should know that you will need a very solid professional network to support you when you apply for the job. Building this network can take some years, but it is essential.
What skillset do I need to reach manager-level jobs?
In order to make your way through the hierarchy, you will typically need excellent communication skills, that will enable you to build a strong professional network. The major part of a manager’s job is to ask for information in order to make decisions. If the information comes to you naturally without you having to ask for it and classify it, your job will be that much easier.
As well as that, you can learn management, or at least the numbers side of management. A number of schools and universities offer courses in management, or rather in controlling and management tools. These tools are essentially mathematical functions designed to help managers make rational decisions. Controllers are usually tasked with building these functions and monitoring the results to identify problems in the company. However, real management, as in the actual decision-making, is inevitably based mostly on experience.
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