Becoming a manager will be a huge change in your professional life. Some newly promoted leaders excel, but others wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into. If you’re ambivalent about making the leap to manager, here’s what to consider:
Consider the Big Picture at Work
Taking on new responsibilities will require you to give up old ones. You will likely become less hands on with the day-to-day assignments of your prior role and need to assign those tasks to others. Be sure you are ready to let go and trust the people to whom you assign your former work.
You may need to rethink your relationships with your former peers. As a manager, you will be privy to higher-level organizational information which you cannot share with your former peers. You have to be aware that your interactions with former peers must change within the office, and you may need to help them become comfortable with that change.
Your new peers are other managers:
- Some of your new (manager) peers are very seasoned. They will place expectations on you that are different than when you were doing the hands-on assignments. Expect changes in those relationships.
- You may become closer to office politics. People and teams within organizations often compete for limited resources. This can lead to conflicts as teams compete to satisfy their needs and objectives. As a manager, you may need to become one of the competitors.
Understand Your Motives
- Are you driven by ambition or contribution? As a manager, your job is to support your team, not to grow or guard your own power.
- Personal Gain/Personal Sacrifice Having more responsibilities at work may require you to put more time in to work. This will likely be the case when you first take on the new role. More time at work may mean less personal time. As you consider taking on the new role, involve the people in your personal life that may be impacted by your time away from them.
- Do you Want to be a Mentor? Sharing information and knowledge with someone else can be incredibly rewarding. If you’re lucky enough to see those lessons in practice, you’ll understand why good managers love to manage. However, this isn’t motivation for everyone. If you find that you’re more excited by the work you actually produce than by coaching and training others, consider whether managing is really what you want to be doing.
Know How You Handle Conflict
If you find you do well in challenging situations, like dealing with an angry client or subordinate staff, you might be well equipped to handle interpersonal conflict. However, if facing such conflict is uncomfortable, you probably want to avoid the manager position.
While being the boss has its perks, it also comes with a lot of work, responsibility, and stress. If you think management might be in your future, consider carefully the opportunity ahead of you before agreeing to the new role. Discuss your new expectations with your manager. With a little self reflection, you may be better prepared to make the adjustment and take on the new challenges.
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