Moving to management is a goal for many employees after they get a few years’ experience. But is it really something you should pursue?
Consultant Art Petty offers 10 questions on his website that can help you to decide:
- What do you think the job is all about? You probably assume you know. But he suggests interviewing recently promoted managers and more experienced ones to develop a clearer picture.
- Why do you think you want to be a manager? He warns that “power, prestige, parking spots and compensation are all lousy” reasons.” So dig deep to understand your urge. He considers this answer from a senior engineer to be perfect: “I realized I could accomplish a lot more through others than I could working on my own.”
- What hard evidence do you have you might be good at the role? You should have some examples of when you informally guided and succeeded through others. He even suggests some quiet experiments to check your skills before deciding to bid for a managerial post.
- How would you feel about having almost no time to do the work that has made you successful so far? This can be the most frustrating consequence of becoming a first-time manager. You will probably have little time for your own projects.
- Are you a good teacher? “Good managers teach. Are you inspired to help others learn? Or, would you rather do it your way because you know it will get done right?” he writes.
- Are you willing to let go of workplace friendships? This can be another difficult consequence of entering management. Your workplace buddies will no longer be buddies when you become their boss. Be sure you are willing to give up those tight relationships.
- Do you thrive on pressure from your boss? “If you think it was intense as a soloist, wait until you discover what it is like to be accountable for the performance of an entire group,” he warns.
- Are you motivated by the spotlight of success? This is a trick question. If you want the spotlight, you’ll be horrible in the role. Great managers shine the spotlight on their team.
- Do you pride yourself on always having the right answer? This is another warning sign. Managers try to help others uncover the answers.
- Are you a good receiver of feedback? You should be able to give and receive constructive feedback as a manager.
“Too many first-time managers arrive in their roles by accident or at least without deliberate forethought. Your boss likes your work and needs someone to step in, and you like the idea of the challenge, not to mention the likely salary upgrade. However, fair warning: this is a difficult job that’s not right for everyone,” he notes.
The five causes of burnout
Consultant and best-selling author Patrick Lencioni has watched many friends and colleagues burn out at work and has experienced his own taste of it. Here are five reasons why he feels it occurs:
- The “work is my identity” mentality: It’s dangerous to define yourself based on the work you do. This can lead to working around the clock and on weekends, and feeling empty when you go home since you are leaving the realm where you are most valued and capable. He warns that you may complain about taking on too much work but at the same time not know what else to do.
- The “in-the-moment pleaser” mentality: Beware if you can’t say “no” or love the feeling of saying “yes.” In fact, he notes that often people with this mentality regret having been so amenable once they get over the immediate gratification of pleasing others with a “yes.”
- The “helper” mentality: Sometimes the desire to say “yes” arises from a compulsion to be the ultimate long-term helper rather than just please others in the moment. “These are the classic pleasers, and there is a saintly quality to them. However, sometimes they are simply incapable of disappointing others, even when disappointment is necessary, or even beneficial,” he writes on his blog. If this rings a bell, you need to get better at calculating the true costs and benefits of saying yes.
- The “escapist” mentality: Some people burn out because they are working hard in order to avoid facing up to bigger issues in their life. They don’t want weekends off; they want maximum time at work.
- The “depression” mentality: Some people keep taking on more and more work because they fear if they say “no” there may not be other opportunities in future. “This happens to service providers and consultants who feel compelled to accept every client and every project and squirrel away the revenue for the inevitable, rainy, flood-ridden day. For people with this mentality, the idea of turning away any opportunity raises great anxiety, and the future possibility of regret,” he writes.
Check how much of this applies to your approach to work and take measures to avoid burnout striking.
Five revolutionary changes in marketing since the turn of the century
With the internet and global branding, marketing expert Al Ries says on his blog there are five revolutionary changes you need to be alert to if you work in marketing or want to understand your organization’s positioning:
- PR is more important than marketing. In the past, brands used to launch with a big advertising campaign. No longer, as Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Uber and Twitter show.
- The category is more important than the brand. Consumers don’t buy a brand; they buy products with brand names attached.
- The name is more important than the strategy. The best way to communicate your marketing strategy is to choose a brand name that reflects it, which is why he thinks Smartfood is the leading popcorn brand.
- The visual is more important than the verbal, as long as it hammers home emotionally your brand’s positioning in consumers’ minds.
- Multiple brands are more important than single brands. In the future, global companies will have many brands, such as Apple, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Nestle.
- Start meetings on time, no matter who is not present, advises productivity consultant Craig Jarrow.
- When someone is sucking the energy out of the room with negative nit-picking devoid of much factual backing, try this nine-word phrase from consultant Mark Murphy: “I’m curious what evidence brought you to that conclusion? ”
- Research by Miriam Gensowski looking at the impact of personality on men’s earnings found no impact early in a career, according to a longitudinal study. However, men who are more conscientious and extroverted, as well as less agreeable, reap large benefits between their forties and sixties.
- When you write an important e-mail, save it in draft form without the e-mail address on it. An hour later, if it feels right, add the e-mail address and send, advises entrepreneur Seth Godin.
- If you botch a question in a job interview let go and move on – it’s not the end of the world, says entrepreneur Sequoia Taylor.
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