Management 101

One important aspect of a job search is conducting research and gathering clues about what the atmosphere and management style are like within a particular company or organization. Understanding the work environment can mean the difference between walking into a Dream Job or a total Nightmare!

The most typical management styles tend to fall into the following categories:
• Autocratic – decisions are made by the manager who just expects employees to do as they are told without questioning authority
• Democratic – decisions are made based on the “majority rules” mind set
• Participative – employees’ thoughts are taken into consideration, but the manager makes the ultimate decision
• Laissez-faire – decisions are often made by uninformed employees with little guidance from management

Good managers normally do not employ just one style. They apply each of these management principles to the appropriate situations to achieve the desired results. Great managers are even more…they are also leaders. They know how to incorporate leadership principles, such as servant leadership, in order to get maximum buy in from employees and create a fun, upbeat working environment.

So, be sure to research well and look for clues. Check out a company’s website and read what it has to say about itself, its management structure and its management style. Look for postings about company events that may include pictures that offer additional insights. Pay attention when you visit a location – watch the expression on employee and customer faces, listen to what you hear going on in the background, look for clues as to how people interact and get along with each other. Finally, I would caution you to pay attention to how the management staff speaks to you. If someone tells you they are “not a micro-manager” or says some other equally attention catching phrase, you might wonder just exactly who it is that they are trying to convince.

Do your homework, talk to others to get a feel of what it is like working for the company. Then ask yourself if you are the right fit for this company’s culture. If you are, you just might have found your Dream Job. 🙂

Bobi Cook is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. She currently conducts job skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast region utilizing her MBA and over ten cumulative years experience as a professional educator, quality systems manager within the automotive industry, and small business administrator to help job seekers develop and implement successful job search campaigns.

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