Common Questions About General Management Careers

August 7th, 2014 by

Good ManagersIn many organizations, companies and businesses, the owner is not necessarily the same person who makes major decisions and runs the day to day operations. Typically, there is a general manager who handles these tasks, along with many other responsibilities.

Although general managers are found in nearly every industry, there is sometimes still confusion over what the position entails, what attributes are commonly found among general managers and where those with management degrees can expect to find work. Answer these questions and many more by utilizing the guide below.

What is a General Manager?

Typically, a general manager is a type of business executive who oversees everything from marketing to sales to the daily operations of the business.

This is in contrast to other management positions, many of which are only responsible for one area of the company.

For example, a marketing manager may be primarily responsible for handling the marketing aspects of the company, and a HR manager might only be tasked with overseeing the human resources department for the business.

Because the scope of what a general manager does can be so wide, it takes a solid background in business in order to be successful in this field. General managers often work long hours or are required to travel globally in order to meet with international owners, clients or suppliers as needed.

Where Can General Managers Work?

Many general managers work for large businesses dealing in finance, lending, real estate or retail. However, it is important to note that general management is a field that applies to just about every industry on the planet. The following are just some of the potential general management careers that graduates can choose from.

• Restaurants

Since almost every restaurant needs a general manager, and there is no shortage of eateries in the United States or elsewhere around the world, the position of restaurant general manager is one of the most common on this list.

The responsibilities of a restaurant manager might include tasks as varied as keeping the dining area clean, ensuring that the kitchen is sanitary, advertising the restaurant appropriately, hiring and recruiting new staff, handling payroll on a weekly basis, ordering supplies for the coming week of dining or communicating with diners who have concerns or complaints about their experience.

Restaurant general managers typically work nontraditional hours including nights and weekends, which tend to be the busiest times for dining establishments.

• Hotels

A lodging general manager, sometimes called a hotel general manager, oversees the operations of a hotel, bed and breakfast or inn of any kind.

That means managing the reservations of guests, updating the website for online bookings, creating an operating budget, hiring and managing staff who work at the establishment, overseeing the decor of the rooms and ensuring the guests have a wonderful stay at the hotel.

Once again, hotel managers can often expect to work odd hours or long shifts, which is common throughout the hospitality industry.

• Casinos

The work of a casino general manager is interesting and diverse, and this position often oversees dozens or even hundreds of employees who also work within the casino.

A casino general manager needs to manage the hospitality side of the equation in terms of ensuring that guests have an enjoyable time in the establishment, have the opportunity to dig into delicious meals, sip on drinks or perhaps stay overnight if the casino has a hotel, but that’s not all.

Casino general managers are also tasked with ensuring that the casino follows local gaming laws, security concerns where money or chips are involved and ensure that gambling is profitable for the casino.

• Factories

A plant general manager oversees a plant, or factory, to ensure that production goes well.

Just a few of the daily tasks of a plant general manager can include things like creating production goals, meeting daily or weekly production quotas, conducting quality control checks to guarantee that production quality never dips and hiring new employees.

A plant general manager might also be responsible for ordering shipments of supplies for manufacturing, organizing routine repair for heavy machinery or even updating plant owners and stockholders about the progress and expectations for the plant as a whole.

• Banks

Unlike the general manager of an entire banking corporation, a branch bank  general manager is tasked with overseeing just a single branch.

Although the branch bank general manager typically needs to follow certain regulations and protocol, particularly if they work for a large national or international bank, they typically make all major decisions relating to their particular branch.

A branch bank general manager will handle things like hiring new bank tellers, sending out notices or advertising materials to potential and current account holders, meeting with major account holders who need financial advice, setting an operations budget for the branch to follow each quarter and ensuring that staff comply with banking rules and federal regulations.

• Sports

For many professional and amateur sports teams, the coach is responsible for training the players so that they can perform at the highest level in games and competition.

However, it is the team’s general manager that is often responsible for acquiring new players, negotiating the deals for player’s contracts, handling team appearances, overseeing press releases and photos of the team in order to increase publicity, determining the play schedule for the season and even hiring or firing coaches to give the team the best chance of success each season.

For individuals who are confident leaders with great business sense and a love of sports, becoming a sports general manager may be ideal. A similar position is the manager for an individual player, who might be tasked with negotiating contracts, salary, appearance fees and more for a single player on a football team, basketball team or even a professional golfer, among other sports.

What Attributes are Commonly Found Among General Managers?

At the most basic level, becoming a general manager requires education, experience and a successful interview. However, the most successful general managers tend to have a few particular traits, all of which combine to make effective leaders in the world of business.

Some of the top attributes to have in general management include an understanding of modern technology, excellent communication skills, the confidence to lead by example as well as verbally, the ability to create relationships with employees so that they feel nurtured, challenged and encouraged in their workplace environments and the desire to succeed.

A strong work ethic is also common among general managers, and particularly among top general managers who oversee large international corporations with extensive financial profits and budgets.

For those who feel that they are natural leaders, a career in general management might be the perfect opportunity to succeed. By understanding more about the various types of general management careers, which can include hotel general managers, restaurant general managers, sports general managers, casino general managers, bank branch general managers and plant general managers, it will be easier to decide on the right career path for your future.

Learn more about earning your degree in business management at

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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