How To Become A General Manager (GM) In Australia?

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Students want to know how they can become general managers in Australia.


Do you like working in business and guiding people to give their best? If yes, a General Manager job may be perfect for you.


A general manager manages the day-to-day operations of a department or business in a company. They perform various managerial tasks, including supervising teams, building goals, evaluating progress, forming financial decisions, and executing company policies.


To become a general manager in Australia, you need a bachelor's degree in business, finance, economics, or a related field and extensive general management experience.


In this blog, you learn about the work environment, career growth, salary, stability, qualifications, courses, and occupational expectations of a General Manager and the steps to pursue this profession.



1. What Is A General Manager (GM)?


The general manager plays a vital role in companies leadership structure. They are one of the top management-makers at any organisation with accountability for profit and loss.


General Manager ensures a department or business functions effectively. General managers are mainly responsible for overseeing the outcomes, goals, and projects of low-level managers or department heads such as HR, Administration, and sales managers.


They manage commercial and government organisations either by themselves or with a team of senior executives. They participate in short-term and long-term strategic business plans, implementing procedures and policies and ensuring meeting profit and training goals.



2. General Manager Job Description In Australia


The role of a General Manager changes a lot from one industry to the other. 


A typical day of a GM involves:


  • Directing departmental managers.

  • Checking inventory.

  • Ordering product finalisation.

  • Finalising a budget.

  • Speaking to customers.

  • Recruiting operations managers.

  • Approving risk management strategies.

  • Negotiating supplier contracts.


They also guide the preparation of forecasts, reports, and budgets and present the same to governing bodies. 


GMs also represent their organisation at conventions, seminars, and meetings and liaise with other organisations. 


Furthermore, they also authorise funds for the execution of policies and programs.



3. What Are The Responsibilities Of The General Manager?


  • Plan, build and execute the operational strategies.

  • Oversee the administration, profitability, compliance, and operations of an organisation 

  • Ensure all employees have undergone adequate management training and development.

  • Lead staff in building strategies to meet organisational objectives.

  • Plan, regulate, discuss and execute procedures for the overall efficient functioning of the business. 

  • Directs executive management team for production and marketing



4. General Manager Skills


Do you want to know how to be a great general manager? You need to have the following essential skills for this role:


  • Genuinely Interested in people, procedures, and resource management

  • Good oral and written communication skills

  • Leadership skills

  • Good organisational skills

  • Responsible

  • Excellent Time management skills

  • Able to handle work pressure

  • Goal-driven 

  • Able to analyse and solve problems

  • Good understanding of businesses' working and processes

  • Attention to detail

  • Effective in conveying information 

  • Innovative 

  • Logical and reasoning abilities

  • Able to handle multiple responsibilities

  • Excellent interpersonal skills

  • Ability to develop positive relations

  • Determination 

  • Excellent budgeting and financial skills 

  • Like staying updated with recent industry trends, and local, state, and centralised regulations

  • Strong work ethic



5. General Manager Education Requirements


Here is the pathway to qualifying for this role:


  • Complete a 3-years of full-time bachelor's degree in business, economics, commerce, or a similar field, such as a Bachelor of Business Administration 

  • Advance your learning and skills with a relevant postgraduate study, such as a Master of Business Administration or Graduate Certificate in Business.

  • Gain ample industry experience across one or more organisations managing people and processes. 

  • Prior senior-level managerial experience will improve your entry into this profession. 



General Manager Courses In Australia 


  • Diploma of Leadership and Management

  • Advanced Diploma of Business

  • Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management 

  • Bachelor of Business Administration

  • Graduate Certificate in Business

  • Master of Business Administration

  • Master of Management 



6. Steps To Become A General Manager In Australia


If you want to become a general manager, then follow the below steps:



Step 1: Complete A Bachelor's Degree


The first requirement to become a GM is to study a bachelor's degree in business, marketingeconomicsfinance, business administration, management, or a related field. 


The qualification helps develop business and leadership skills and gain knowledge on the following topics:


  • The global economy

  • E-commerce

  • Accounting and finance

  • Business law

  • Organisational strategies

  • Human resources

  • Cross-cultural management


Alternatively, you can also study a relevant diploma course to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare for this career pathway. Some of these courses include:


  • Diploma of Business (Organisational Development) 

  • Advanced Diploma of Business

  • Diploma of Leadership and Management 

  • Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management



Step 2: Consider A Master's Qualification


You can choose to progress your career and management credentials by earning the following university-level courses:



The above courses aim to improve business insight and develop a professional network and skills that give you a competitive edge in the employment market.


Postgraduate education also enables you to understand areas related to people management, work ethics, and supply chain management in the workplace.



Step 3: Consider Gaining Certifications


Professional certifications in leadership, management, teamwork, or a similar topic show your commitment to learning and willingness to stay updated with industry advancements to potential employers. 


Though optional, they make you more competitive for a job vacancy.



Step 4: Gain Work Experience


Industry experience has an immense significance in understanding how companies operate and use methods for strategic planning and business finance. 


Based on your interests, you may choose to work in industries related to human resources, IT, retail trade, finance, hospitality, or the healthcare sector.


Gaining several years of professional experience as an assistant manager or manager equips you with knowledge, decision-making, and leadership skills. It will help make intelligent decisions in varying business situations.



Step 5: Do Networking


To increase your chances of getting a job, you must broaden your professional network. 


One of the best ways to do that is to join a related professional organisation to get in touch with advanced professionals and learn from them. 


It will help you get notified whenever any new General Manager position opens up.


Additionally, build positive work relationships with your colleagues to show that you are dependable, ethical, and talented. It will improve your chances of getting a job through references.



7. What Is General Manager's Salary In Australia?


General Managers are well-paid jobs. The average general manager salary in Australia is AU$116,016 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$37.23. 


Due to high accountability and handling complex jobs, experienced general managers earn more than entry-level employees. 


Besides experience, their salaries also vary based on the industry, company size, geographical location, qualifications, and other factors. 


Those who have completed more education and gained certifications have an upper edge over their competitors in salary negotiations.



Average Annual Salary Based on Experience


  • Entry-level General Manager (<1-year experience): AU$83,988 

  • Early career General Manager (1-4 years of experience): AU$93,367 

  • Mid-career General Manager (5-9 years of experience): AU$97,927 

  • Experienced General Manager (10-19 years of experience): AU$134,935 



Highest-Paying Australian Cities For General Managers


  • Alice Springs NT: 164,858 per year

  • Brisbane QLD: $142,601 per year

  • Perth WA: $141,524 per year

  • Melbourne VIC: $140,123 per year

  • Sydney NSW: $136,145 per year

  • Newcastle NSW: $124,012 per year

  • Adelaide SA: $121,240 per year



8. General Manager Career Path


General managers are usually at the second-highest management level. Based on the business size, they might report to the top executive, the CEO or directly to the Board of Directors about the growth and expansion of their business.


After working as a General Manager for some years, you can continue climbing up that corporate ladder in the following ways:


  • Switch to a different company or industry that has a higher earning potential 

  • Suppose you are already in a thriving industry. In that case, consider progressing into a higher role, such as Vice President or Managing Director



9. Where Do General Managers Work?


General managers work in multinational companies or large global organisations. They are responsible for structure, people, budgets, strategy, fiscal outcomes, and metrics.


Some of the industries that employ professionals in this role are:


  • Health care and social assistance

  • Manufacturing

  • Retail Trade

  • Manufacturing

  • Sports

  • Hospitality (hotels and restaurants)

  • Media

  • Construction

  • Sales and marketing

  • Finance

  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services


The industry you want to work in depends on your experience level. The highly transferable occupational skills allow you to switch between sectors easily.


General managers may have different designations based on the company they work for, such as:


  • Technology Companies: As "Product managers" in charge of software or hardware development.


  • Banks: As "Branch managers" in charge of a specific bank location.


  • Sales Companies: As "Brand Managers in charge of establishing a brand identity.


  • Services Companies: As "Managing Director "or "Managing Partner". 



10. How To Become A General Manager In Sports?



Step 1: Develop Essential Skills


  • Decision-making

  • Communication

  • Problem-solving

  • Team Management

  • Leadership

  • Time management



Step 2: Gain Academic Qualification


A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational prerequisite. However, completing a graduate degree will help expand your employment options. 


You can also consider a sports management course to cultivate the necessary skills.



Step 3: Build Work Experience and Professional Contacts


General managers should gain experience in a sporting environment via internships or work placements.


You can volunteer at a sports club or organisation or manage a university sports team to get hands-on experience.


It will also help you develop a network with lecturers and colleagues. Starting a sports blog can also help with meeting people in your field.



Step 4: Start A Job Hunt


Look for job opportunities through network contacts and online job boards, and send your CV to potential employers.



11. How To Become A General Manager In The NFL?


Aspiring GMs should have a similar background as athletes, former scouts, or accountants. You should study a business degree and sports media and business relations courses. 


Good knowledge of accounting, economics, sports finance, and contract laws is helpful. Besides a passion for the game, they also have experience playing football in high school and college or assisting football coaches and managers. 


The NFL league offers internships in several departments, such as media, finance and accounting, and operations, via mentoring support, speaker presentations, and networking opportunities. 


It helps meet people in the organisation and develop industry experience.



12. How To Become A General Manager Of A Hotel?



Develop Skills For Success


  • Leadership

  • Communication 

  • Interpersonal skills 

  • Motivating skills

  • Rapport-building skills 

  • Able to create a fun and high-functional environment

  • Strong customer orientation

  • Led staff to ensure positive guest experiences

  • Organisation skills

  • Good problem solvers 



Gain Relevant Education


Completing a bachelor's degree in hospitality or a similar field is the typical requirement in larger chains. 


In the case of small to mid-size hotels or restaurants, you may get an entry with a high school diploma, an associate degree, or a hotel and restaurant management certificate.



Build Work Experience


The road to becoming a general manager is to earn considerable experience working as a front desk manager, an assistant manager, or in customer relations.


It helps to gain skills and capabilities to lead employees and supervise various aspects of the hotel's operation. It will help you get promoted to the post of general manager.


A few restaurant chains also provide a week or month-long internal Training Program to familiarise a candidate with the philosophies of the hotel, areas of the hotel, and their functions, including employees.



13. Working Conditions For A General Manager


A General Manager's work schedules and environment vary based on the company and field they work in. They work in offices, stores, factories, restaurants, or other settings. They may need to travel to different destinations within Australia and overseas. 


General managers work regular business hours. However, to deal with any business emergency or collaborate with senior management professionals, they may even need to work overtime, including evenings and weekends.



14. Job Outlook For General Managers In Australia


According to Labour Market Insights, around 103,900 workers work as General Managers in Australia. Out of them, 89% work full-time for an average of 49 hours per week. 


It is five hours more than the average of all jobs (44 hours per week). Over 2/3rd of workers work overtime or additional hours (either unpaid or paid).


The government expects a favourable outlook and an annual growth of 9.6% in this profession. Employment projections show strong growth in future job opportunities over the next five years. The number of workers will likely reach 95,700 by 2026.


The average age of General Managers is 46 years which is higher than the average age of employees in all other jobs. Most workers fall in the age band of 45 to 54 years.


Around 29% of the workforce are females. It is 19 percentage points less than the average of all jobs, which is 48%.



15. Conclusion


General Managers shape the work environment in any organisation with their effective governance and strategy.


They are needed in almost every industry to supervise a company's long-term objectives and ensure every department stays on track.


If you want to pursue this profession, proper planning, commitment, and consistent efforts are the key to realising your goal.


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