Working in management and or business. Love it, hate it, what is it?

notlisteningBusiness and management, 2 words that either appeal to you or strike fear into your heart!  There seems to be a great deal of confusion over what these mysterious business and management job things are though. So how can you know if you would love or hate something if you don’t know what it looks like?

So what is management? Google defines it as the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.

So what is business? Google defines it as commercial activity. Trade considered in terms of its volume or profitability.

And what isn’t a business?  well a not for profit organisation could be said not to be a “business” as it does not make profit for shareholders however it does have managers of – retail, finance, marketing, fundraising, volunteers etc depending on the size of the organisation.

At the end of the day most work places are businesses or are run in a business like fashion. From PWC and The University to your hairdresser and the local charity shop they all require management of things, processes, people and finances to make sure that everyone knows that they are doing and the goals of the organisation are reached.

As a student you may have a part time job or volunteer so you probably see the front end of a business, either making something or serving a community or the public directly.  Most of you will have someone who tells you what to do, they, like it or not they are your manager. Depending on the size of the organisation there may be someone who manages the finances (and pays you), people who manage IT, marketing, recruitment and producing whatever the organisation makes, sells or provides.  When you graduate you are deemed to have the potential to do these jobs and yes they are management level jobs and yes they are in a business environment.

But I’m not ready for management

Don’t worry unless you have direct experience of the relevant area it’s pretty unlikely you will start managing something on day one.  In time you may start managing a small team or a small project or process and work up to bigger things.  You may never get manager in your title but you’ll know when you are one!

Still not convinced?

Business and management jobs don’t have to be in big corporates nor do you have to be an accountant or a management consultant.

So what might business or management jobs look like?

  • It might not have business or management in the title.  Yet you will be working within an organisation and could end up managing a process or a team.
  • It could look like a graduate scheme which is a way for a large organisation to take on lots of staff  to cover a wide range of business areas, marketing, HR, finance areas, IT, engineering, sales etc. You may specialise in one area or rotate through them all to work out where you fit best. At the end of your time you will be trained to do a role and that may involve managing a process or people. So if you don’t know what you want to do – pick a graduate scheme that rotates through lots of different areas.
  • It could be in a smaller organisation, or you may be the only new graduate taken on at that time so it’s more likely you will be in a particular role. This makes it easier to see when you are applying what the job will involve.  You will get more on the job style training but will get to see more about how the whole organisation works and may end up managing a smaller team or a small business area.
  • You could set up and run your own business – then you will manage EVERYTHING! Plenty of UoM graduates do!

You could work on or in:

  • IT project management or systems development, software engineering, web development etc
  • Event planning and management for a venue or an organisation
  • Sports or hospitality management for a venue, a team, a professional body.
  • You could manage fundraising, bid writing, or volunteers.
  • You could manage information or knowledge.
  • You could look at data, market research, trends and statistics and use this to forecast future business growth. A business development manager or analyst or management consultant!
  • Science, engineering or healthcare.
  • Educational establishments, schools, colleges and universities
  • Production for TV or radio or in music.

Really the list is endless, managing people or stuff in or working in a business environment covers just about everything.

BUT there are a few exceptions we could think of for graduates…

  • Actors, musicians, performers, artists. May be employed or freelance so may only have to manage their own career and finances! On becoming successful they may have a manager or employ people do help with this!
  • Writers – but really that’s running your own business too.
  • Many junior roles may not involve managing much, but you would probably be aiming to move up after some experience.

A friend pointed out that a job involving managing nothing makes you a minion, but I say minion is often a good place to start!

So what’s in a word ? Management or business don’t let them scare you off, look under the cover to see what’s really going on before you write them off as no go areas.


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