Is People Management the Right Career Path for You?

Even if career progression is not linear, the title and position structures of many occupations are not adjusted to the changing nature of work and the shifting of their careers. In many professional jobs, it is very common to be a technical worker in your field for a number of years and then, the natural development would be people in a management role and then a senior leadership role. Is becoming a manager and managing people really good for you? You are the only one who can answer this question for as long as you are prepared and know what you are signed up for. Do your homework. Remember, there is no glory in being a manager. It's actually "OK" to stay in a standalone or technical role if that's the job you love the most. However, if you think becoming a manager is for you, there are 3 main areas to consider when moving from a technical role to managing people. But first, I'll highlight the common reasons why people buy into promotions:

  • Satisfying the ego
  • More income
  • Meeting career goals
  • It's a natural next step

Rarely do I hear from people when asked why they want to be a manager:

  • I want more responsibility
  • I want to deal with difficult situations
  • I want to address performance issues
  • I want to collaborate with others to build organizational capacity
  • I want to motivate and develop others

I urge you to look beyond the prestige of the position and salary to determine if the person in the management role is meant for you.

Common Problems Managers People Face

The next step to leadership may not feel natural because being a highly effective technical expert requires very different skills than a manager. The transition to a managerial position is one of the most difficult career transitions. Here are some reasons why:

  • Your responsibilities have increased.
  • You will need to manage multiple agendas and interests.
  • You need to let go of former technical responsibilities and deal with conceptual ideas.
  • You need to deliver complex messages even if you don't agree with them.
  • You need to focus on the big picture, results and employee development.
  • You will need to work together in a company and influence without authority.
  • You enter a new social role, as you no longer look like former colleagues.
  • You must navigate gracefully office politics.

I have seen many technical staff get promoted because they have done a good job for a long time. However, after the action, many shared their concerns and the feeling of being “out of their elements.” The assignment was not something they expected or weren't ready to move on to. Technical skills will only get you so far. Just because you're good at your job doesn't make you financial management. Here are some questions to help you decide if becoming a manager is right for you:

  • Why do you want to be a human manager?
  • What and who is doing it?
  • What kind of work does it do for you? Be very specific.
  • What are the responsibilities and expectations of the role you are a beginner?
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And here are some of the challenges that new human managers or even seasoned managers face:

Understand the big picture and future direction of the organization

As the leader of your team, you must ensure that you have a clear understanding of the company's strategy so that your team's actions are aligned with the direction of the company.

Increasing Organizational Visibility

With increased responsibility as a human manager, you will be more visible as you represent your team. It's not just about you.

Process identification and optimization

You need to constantly look for ways to integrate with other departments.

Think outside of your functional area

You must go beyond your functional area and respect the interests of the other team and the overall goals of the organization; so that you and your team can deliver results that are consistent with the company.

Collaboration Across Borders

To achieve the company's results, you need to present your team and partner with other teams to achieve the company's goals.

Multiple Program Management

Not only do you need to consider your own interests, but you also need to be mindful of your team, company, and the interests of other stakeholders.

Influence without powers

Your ability to influence and persuade others is essential in the transition of a company and has an impact on the achievement of team goals.

Driving responsibility and skill

To achieve optimal results for the team and the company, you need to clearly communicate how your team will support the company's strategy and motivate them to execute.

Maintaining a balance between driving results and supporting employee development

In addition to all your other responsibilities, you cannot neglect the development of your employees who make the day to day work to achieve the goals of the team. This is where you need to have a firm grip on your own management style and understand each of your employees. Each person is unique and should be exercised differently.

How to become an effective manager

Key changes in mindset, learn

Having highlighted the main challenges of the transition from the technical role of the people, the role of the manager, there are several changes in the way of thinking, you will need to do as well. ((Creative Leadership Center: 6 shifts New leaders do a lot to succeed))

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1. You are responsible for the successes and failures of your team.

As you grow in authority as a people manager, you also have a responsibility to use your power for good in order to support your team in achieving goals. It also means taking on your team's failures without blaming your team. Because ultimately, you manage your team and you are part of the bounce for any mismanagement by your team. Being resilient to learning more about your team's failures can help you become a strong manager.

2. You represent a team within the Organization

When you attend meetings, build relationships and navigate the organization, remember that you represent the interests of your team.

3. You no longer need to be a technical expert or need all the details

Many managers have a hard time letting go of details because they were high performers in a technical role. You need to trust your team's ability to take care of the day-to-day details so you can focus on the strategic work.

Key skills and competencies of a manager

Now that you've had a preview of the main responsibilities of a people manager, here are some of the skills and abilities you need to develop:

  • Translate company strategy and integrate it into functional plans for your team.
  • Accept different points of view and think outside the box.'
  • Management of resources, risks, and processes.
  • Identifying opportunities for improvement and change.
  • Building high-performing teams.
  • Coach and develop employees.
  • Influence and convince many stakeholders.

Promoting Your Management Skills

Here are some key areas to help improve your management skills:

  • Be prepared to work overtime without extra pay.
  • There is a solid understanding of their own management style.
  • Know how to manage conflicts effectively and in a timely manner.
  • Development of critical thinking, rational analysis and problem solving skills.
  • Maintain effective communication with your team.
  • Develop coaching skills.((Harvard School Extension: 3 coaching books to help you be a more inspiring manager)).
  • Recognize the impact of gratitude.
  • Understand group dynamics and how to manage former colleagues.
  • Continue to educate and develop yourself.
  • Work with a mentor or trainer.((Monster: how a mentor at work can help your career)).

Summing up

Becoming a human manager is no easy task. You need to look inside yourself to determine if this is the right career path for you. Are you taking on greater responsibilities that align with your values ​​and strengths? Return to the questions at the beginning of the article to determine if this is the right move for you. Talk to people who you think have successfully made the transition to managerial positions. What were some of their challenges and how did they overcome them?

More about management and leadership

  • Leadership vs Management: Is One Better than the Other?
  • 10 Essential People Leadership Skills Every Manager Should
  • 4 Types of Leadership Styles to Master to Become a Strong Leader
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