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Becoming a Manager

Are You Sure You Want to Be a Manager?

by Sarah Dayton

In an ideal world a promotion to a managerial position would be a positive experience. You would feel valued and recognized for your hard work, dedication and expanding skill set. Your employers would feel validated that they made a smart decision in hiring you and investing training dollars to prepare you for this next step in your professional career. Added benefits would seem to rain down upon you – a bigger paycheck, better office, better parking space, and, of course, the undying admiration of your colleagues (possibly).

However, before you start shopping for that new car or planning that big vacation, are you sure you’ve considered everything that will go along with that promotion?

With Great Power …

The euphoria of your promotion will be shorter than you might think. If you continue to do well in your new role, life will continue to be awesome, but if something goes wrong, the responsibility for that will be all yours too. Remember, your new boss won’t want to hear about your problems. He or she will expect you to bring solutions to those problems.

They Call It Office Politics for a Reason …

You may find that much of your time is occupied with conflict resolution – both with your new direct reports and your new peers. Poor performers or former peers who expect special treatment because of your history as colleagues will challenge your ability to handle conflict. Your new peers may see you as a threat for increasingly scarce resources and take steps to directly undermine your success. After all: “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business!”

Are You Ready to Be a “Suit”?

You are now a member of management for better or for worse. Your friends in your old department may not make the transition to that new reality as quickly as you do, and expect you to hang out for lunch or join them for the Friday happy hour and complain about all the crazy stuff “the suits” did this week. Or they might surprise you and make the transition faster than you. Before you know it, you won’t need to be present to be part of that happy hour complaining session. Plus, until you prove yourself, your new peers are likely to be talking about you too.

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Soundview Editor-in-Chief Sarah Dayton

Sarah Dayton is the Editor-in-Chief at Soundview. When not in the office or at her desk at home, Sarah can be found on area walking trails or patronizing small, local businesses. She is also a board member of the local land trust. Sarah and her husband, Sam, are “empty nesters” and currently share their 1824 Chester County, PA farmhouse with two spoiled basset hounds.

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