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What they don’t tell you before you become a manager – Consider this BEFORE you decide that managing a team is what you want to do.

Often when we talk about career development, we talk about climbing the ladder, or taking that next step “upwards”, yet often we don’t know what this really means to us. We are conditioned to think that success always should mean a vertical climb, when in all truthfulness, success comes from achieving whatever the f*ck YOU want to!

I have had a number of conversations with people lately about what their career path should/could/would look like and more often than not the next step people think they need to take in order to be “successful” in their careers is to lead or manage a team.

For a lot of people this is a fantastic opportunity and something that they will absolutely thrive at, for others, it is just not something that they enjoy doing – and quite frankly, therefore, should not do it. Often people are promoted into roles by the Company they work for because they might be a great individual contributor or technical expert in their field, but, move them into a role where they are managing people and responsible for others development, and they are no longer competent, or even capable of thriving in what they once were an expert at.

Leading a team of people, be it 1 or 100, is a tough gig. It takes patience, encouragement, trust and a genuine belief that other’s success is your success. I often see and speak to people that are not ready for a leadership or management role, yet get thrust into them because they might be a fantastic individual contributor, all to then realise that they actually hate it. This often leads to demotivation, frustration because they are no longer working in a role they find fulfilling and, in some cases, leads to a once high-performer now being a low performer.

You can still be an incredibly successful person and go far in your chosen career path, without managing a team of people.

There are a couple of things that I deem critical to being a successful leader and would encourage you to truly reflect on BEFORE you find yourself managing a team, or put your hand up and say you want to.

 

ARE YOU:

1) A good listener, who enjoys taking the time and listening to people to help them problem-solve? When people want to talk to you, you’re pleased to stop and chat and you don’t see it as an annoyance. There is nothing worse than a manager who tells employees “I don’t have time for this!” when they have questions about the work. If this might be you – stop and reflect if becoming a manager is really what you want.

2) Sincerely keen to learn more about yourself and other people, and you’re willing to look in the mirror as you learn and make the necessary changes? Leadership is not easy and it’s not always fun. To be a leader, you have to be humble enough to learn from your employees. A leader who thinks they have all the answers will never gain the respect of their team mates – and without that, you really can’t go very far.

3) Excited by the idea of developing a team and helping people see their full potential? Do you get sincere satisfaction out of encouraging people to step up? Then being a manager is likely for you. Note: If you see developing others as just “fluff” that HR expect you to do, I’d probably stop right now, do not pass GO, do not collect $200 dollars.

4) Skilled with well-developed time management and organisational skills and you are able to manage your own workload very well? It is not your teams fault that you have work to do too – you’ll need to find a way to manage this and ensure you’re available for them when they need.

5) Patient and don’t get frustrated by questions that you might know the answer to – just because you know the answer, doesn’t mean everyone does.

6) Prepared for what can at times be a lonely gig – leadership can be lonely, particularly if you have gone from colleague to manager. You need to find a balance now between being the friend and the decision maker and that is by no means easy.

7) Prepared to have to make some pretty tough decisions or execute on some pretty rough decisions that you may not always agree with?

If you said yes to all of these, then well played Ma’am – you are likely someone who will thrive when managing a team.

Finally, consider this – if the main reason you want to become a manager is because it pays more than your current job pays, then perhaps this isn’t really what you want. AND guess what – that is ok! But, do yourself a favour and truthfully reflect on the above and whether the thought of all these things lights you up, or you see it as an inconvenient task that will just get in the way of you doing your job.

Stepping into a management role isn’t the only way to progress and lead a successful career. If you want other tips and tricks to ensure you enjoy professional success without becoming part of the corporate climb, check out my recent blog post about how you don’t have to go UP, to move UP. CLICK HERE   

If you need some help working out what your next career move is, I can help. I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. The career confusion or crossroads. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life. 

 

Much Love,

 

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au
www.claireseeber.com.au

 

POSTED IN CAREER COACHING

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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You’ve done it. Everything you have worked so hard for has been recognised. The late nights, the extra work, its been noticed and you have been promoted into a leadership role. Amazing! You get to lead a team. You get to set the tone for your team and drive the teams objectives forward. It will be fun they said. It will be great they said. YOU will be great, they said.

Then reality hits. You’ve never managed people before. In fact, you are now managing people who last week were your colleagues. You used to whinge together over lunch about your manager – now you are that person. Sh*t. Will they talk about you behind your back too? Will they think you aren’t capable, or that you shouldn’t have been promoted over them? Are you even capable? Oh gosh, people will realise I can’t do this! I can’t do this!!!! (insert minor melt down…) These tend to be some of the thoughts that I hear people go through the first time they start to lead a team.

HELLO Imposter Syndrome – nice to see you again! Welcome to the club of women (and some men!) who experience this every day. Imposter Syndrome can present itself in many ways and on very different occasions – it is a “different strokes for different folks”, kinda syndrome this one! Ever had that all-encompassing feeling of self-doubt, that feeling that everyone around you is questioning your ability, or your worth? That, my friend, is the ever-pesky Imposter Syndrome kicking into gear.

I used to be terrible for this and was the absolute epitome of what Imposter Syndrome stands for. And then one day, I realised something.  Not one person actually told me that I couldn’t do something, or that I wasn’t capable. In fact, quite the opposite. It was all in my head.  I was the one who told myself I wasn’t capable.

Are you reading this wondering if Imposter Syndrome has sunk its pesky little claws into you?

 

Here’s what Imposter Syndrome might feel like:
  • Being 100% sure you are going to fail at almost anything you set out to;
  • Devaluing or being self-deprecating of your experience or expertise in front of others because someone else might appear more confident, more experienced, older, wiser, than you;
  • Feeling like a fraud and like someone is going to find out about you, or your lack of ability; or
  • Being sure that someone else’s leadership style, ability, confidence is better than yours.

Being promoted is a big deal, so firstly, well done!  Moving from an individual contributor role, where you are ultimately in control of your own deliverables, to a role where you are assisting a team of others to deliver is a big shift and it can feel overwhelming. But, don’t panic – here are some things for you to consider as part of your transition into a leadership role:

 

  1. Accept that there is not just one “awesome” leadership style – and STOP comparing yourself to others – YOU are also awesome.
  2. Be prepared for a little bit of awkwardness at first – Transitioning to a new role, let alone a leadership role will always be a little awkward. People get used to things being a certain way, and when things change, it can be a challenging for some people initially. Be ok with this.  It is not a reflection on your ability, it is just the process of change.
  3. Acknowledge that you had to play some part in your current success – it doesn’t all come down to luck, or whatever other B/S you have been kidding yourself that it is. You were promoted because something was seen in you – now get out of your own head and prove those people right!
  4. Ask your team what they look for in a good leader – this will not only show your team that you care, but also give a you a great insight into what support they are looking for from you.
  5. Call yourself out – when you experience the feelings of self-doubt, or like you aren’t doing a good job in your new role, call it Imposter Syndrome. Once you put a name on it, it almost makes it easier to accept. Now that you have accepted it, squash the self-deprecating thoughts and move the F**k on!
  6. Get a wing-woman – whether you have someone in your life you can do this with, or you need to consider seeking out a coach, or a mentor, get someone to help call you out on these feelings and put the actions in place that you need to (in addition to the above) to get you past it.

 

Moving into a leadership role can feel scary, a bit awkward (particularly when you are now managing people who you used to be hierarchically equal to), and you start to feel like your days have a very different meaning and purpose.  Don’t panic. This is not a reflection on you, or your abilities – this is just the awkwardness of transitioning to a new role. Be confident. Be brave and believe that you were given this opportunity because you CAN do it.

 

If despite following the above advice, you are still feeling like you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome, perhaps it is time to invest in yourself to learn how to manage it.  I can help. 

I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life. 

 

Much Love,

 

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au
www.claireseeber.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

You might also like:

The scary wake-up call I had that made me realise I was practising self-care all wrong!!!!

How to rise above when people want to drag you down…

How to set boundaries that you actually stick to!