Thinking of Becoming a Manager? You Might Regret It.
There are numerous reasons you might not want to move into management. I walk through a few things to consider.
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Now a big hello from Ireland! I thankfully wrote a few articles ahead of time, so I've been able to enjoy Ireland without needing to do much work. Although, I did spend a couple of hours the other night on the beginnings of a fiction book for young kids. I make up stories each night for my 8-year-old daughter, and I've repeatedly thought that I should write something down. So, I'm doing that. Not that it has anything to do with this newsletter, but I enjoy sharing things.
Edit - The next week I wrote an article about the positive aspects of management.
People regularly ask me if they should move into management. Either they've been given an opportunity to take over their manager's position, or they have begun to think that management might be the next step in their career growth. During career coaching, I'm regularly asked by clients if management would be right for them.
I think the short answer is that it depends. It depends on your company. It depends on your personal strengths and interests.
While there are positive things to be said of management, I thought it would be useful to walk through the reasons you might regret the move.
Do you love your current work?
In most positions, you will do less of your current work.
If you're a designer, you'll personally design less.
If you're a software engineer, you'll write less code.
If you're a project manager, you'll spend less time personally managing projects.
It's not guaranteed that you'll stop this activity completely, but if your primary job function is the thing you love about work, you'll be impacted by needing to do that thing less.
Many of the struggling manager's I've seen over the years were still putting too much of their time and focus on their individual contributor tasks. It was because that was the part of the job they enjoyed.
Personally, I enjoy coding as a hobby (still do, but don't look at my code, it's horrific), but didn't enjoy doing it as my career. Doing less coding was fine with me.
Are you ok with meetings?
While companies are different, it's a relative constant that managers have many more meetings than individual contributors.
I frequently would have a meeting with other managers to ensure that my employees did not have to attend a meeting. Essentially, we'd spend our time talking to ensure the doers could keep doing.
Some people find meetings horrific and mentally exhausting. At the end of a very productive hour long meeting where important things were decided, I've heard (usually junior) manager co-workers complain that they hated wasting so much time.
A major part of your job is deciding things with co-workers, which essentially means meetings.