Is being a Manager the right career move for you?

30 November 2019

As you progress in your career, and move up the ladder, one natural step you would seem to take is to become a Manager. But, as you review the role and responsibilities, you being to wonder, is it the right step for you? It may mean a bump in pay, or a boost for your career. Maybe it will help keep you committed to your current employer, and for you to remain a productive contributor. But have you considered all the aspects of becoming a manager? Here are a few points to think of.  

More meetings, and less control of successes -

As a manager, you may end up spending most of your days in meetings, working on company initiatives This means tasks that you used to complete are now falling to your team. How your team performs and completes these tasks, will depend on how you communicate these tasks. Your successes are now up to your employees to complete. If your team falls short, you’ve fallen short.

How you decide to communicate these tasks to your team is vital to your success. How you give feedback when your employees don’t follow through on tasks also will be vital to your success as a manager. Are you able to give relevant constructive feedback? Your employees will be looking to you for guidance on the tasks that you give them. Being an effective communicator and providing clear direction will help your team be a success. Do you have the skills employees will need a manager for these things?

Can you handle company pressure and changes?

Once you become a manager, you will feel pressure from all sides. To be an effective manager, you will need to lead your employees into action through changing goals, initiatives and projects. You will get pressure from your already stressed out team that they are at their limit, and pressure from executives that you need your team to complete seemingly impossible projects. Can you maintain an open mind when these things happen? Are you able to delegate tasks and trust your team that they can do the same? The pressure will increase tremendously once you take on the role of a manager. You will need to get used to being squeezed between the demands on all sides.

Can you manage conflict and provide feedback?

Managers still have their own managers they are held accountable too. At times you will have to communicate decisions down to your team, that may not make much sense to them. When you come across this type of situation, are you able to talk your employees through their frustration? What about when they challenge you in front of the whole team? Do you tend to get angry and burst out? Or can you remain calm and provide clear concise answers, even if it’s, “I will follow up with you on that offline?” If you find you do well in challenging situations like this, or when dealing with an angry client, you may be more well equipped to become a manager. The same principle applies when providing feedback, and not the positive feel good kind. Can you provide feedback when an employee is exhibiting poor or aggressive behavior? Can you give constructive feedback to help align the employee with their goals and company values? If you are not a fan of either of these things, you may need to reevaluate your desire to be in a manager role. Great managers don’t just dictate orders to their employees, they guide them and listen to them. Employees should feel heard and valued by their manager.

Now what?

If you have gone through these points and have decided you still want to pursue a manager position but are lacking some skills, don’t panic. This is a good and healthy approach for you to prepare and hone your skills. There are lots of resources available for you. Here are some tips -

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a leader you look up to and respect – Find a mentor who is willing to help you improve your skill set. These types of mentors can be honest and upfront with you on what you need to improve so that when you do land that role, you are better equipped with the tools you need.  
  • Get on the job training – If your able, go to lunch with those in your company who have been successful before you. Ask them what they did to succeed, and what challenges they faced in particular to your company. Thank them for their time and be sincere in your desire to learn and improve.
  • Self-Study – There are plenty of books and leadership courses available, either in person or online. Start researching local courses through universities and community colleges. Most offer day seminars, or evening classes. Be willing and have a desire to learn, and you will be successful.