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Moving in to Management?

zenpotatozenpotato Registered User regular
edited August 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So, now that I'm pushing 30 and have been around awhile, it's been pointed out to me that if I'm interested, I might want to start looking in to management opportunities/training as they come up. The thing is, I have no idea if I am interested.

So, what about you crazies? Any of you in management? How'd you get there, and do you like it? Any useful books/articles/blogs or anything for those just venturing in to that territory?

(For reference, I work in commercial software and I would be doing both people and project management, potentially.)

zenpotato on


  • devoirdevoir Registered User
    edited August 2009
    I come from a sys admin/IT consultant technical background, ranging from desktop support to Windows domain administration/installation to VMware. When I started working at 19, I was vehement that I was a techie, not a manager.

    After 3 years I moved into a more people-managing role, much preferred it, but in the same business unit. Start of June I got moved out of that entirely into a mixed project management/business analyst role. In my case it was a mixture of opportunity and actively pursuing it through conversation with my bosses.

    My experiences, and responsibilities, will vary wildly from many people in those fields. The company I work for is small, having just broken 50 staff.

    That said I love it. I work with contractors, internal staff, suppliers on a daily basis. While I don't directly manage any staff, I do work closely with a lot of our technical staff and it requires me to be fairly on top of a lot of the concepts that drive the equipment/software we use, as well as how other businesses operate. It is a lot to handle at times, just making sure no details slip through the cracks, but a very rewarding job when a projects completes on time and within spec.

    I read a lot regarding both people management, personal management and project management, nothing in particular stands out. Primary reason is that I find blindly following one set of concepts is the equivalent of trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. However, that said, I have a lot of freedom bestowed by my boss and someone in a more rigid company may need to find specific methods and books to study up on.

    I personally prefer project management to people management, although my current role obviously has elements of the latter that I do enjoy.

    For reference I work in telecommunications.

    devoir on
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I was a supervisor in a data entry department for a year, supervising about 10-12 people. I hated it. Mostly because of my employees. And my bosses. Anyone will tell you, front line supervisors have it the worst and I believe it. The absolute lack of work ethic that most people have drove me crazy. I even had a 2 month period where I didn't have at least one person out every day. That said, I think I could like it if I had a little higher caliber of employee, but that seems rare.

    I'm doing project management now and I enjoy it. Not so much the work, but the responsibility. It can be demanding at times, but as long as you're organized and flexible, it's not bad.

    Sir Carcass on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'm in retail management... have been for years. I was made a store manager in Gamestop back in 2003, and now work for a grocery store chain. I enjoy management, dealing with people, and solving problems. The big thing to remember as a manager is that any drama in your workplace will be much more pronounced when you are a manager. On the good side, you will be in a position to fix that bullshit if your management is supportive.
    As you can probably guess, my management is not supportive.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'm in school for my MBA, and decided to do it for two reasons:

    1: I didn't want to move into a new field or a new job in the same field at "the bottom," having to work my way up (which is usually impossible), and

    2: I realized that I enjoy working on a "meta" level when it comes to accomplishing work, rather than a "dirty work" approach.

    1 explains itself, IMO, but for 2, what I mean by that is, I guess, easy to explain in terms of computer science. I was going to go to school for CS and then, after taking two classes in high school (one at the school, one at a CC), I realized I hated it. I did not like the actual act of programming. Now, I love the idea of programming, and I'm good at thinking of algorithms, and I understand a fair amount of the theory behind it. But I really hate writing code. But I would certainly enjoy working on coding projects where I could help a group of programmers work together, accomplishing projects given to them by inside or outside clients. After all, a lot of programmers hate the idea of clients ("they don't know anything about computers, they don't know what they want, they don't appreciate me") and a lot of clients don't understand the technical aspects. Me, I love being the go-between, figuring out how it translates and works.

    My undergraduate degree was in technical communication (not tech writing), which focuses on taking technical knowledge and disseminating it to a particular audience. It's very focused on audience analysis and usability, and I realized that the "low level" gruntwork for a technical communicator is, essentially, tech writing. Which I don't really like. But! The idea of it, I love. I like the idea of helping people understand things, and far from the pessimistic idea that people don't like learning, I like the challenge of figuring out how you approach a person or group and get them learning something that they didn't think they'd care about. I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it.

    So for me, that's what I see management as, and that's why I'm going to try to be in management for the rest of my career.

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2009
    I think the most important thing if you are interested in the prospect is to get proper training. The overwhelmingly common mistake that businesses make is to promote management from promising rank and file with no training in the role and as a result the business world is awash with incompetent managers who, through no fault of their own, find themselves propelled into a role which they are unprepared and unsuitable for which ends up being a nightmare for the manager and everybody under him.

    If your employer is considering promoting you, compel them to put you on an MBA covering people and project management. If you're thinking of looking for management roles with new employers, put yourself on an MBA.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • badpoetbadpoet Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    An important thing to remember is that your employees are not your friends. They're your employees. That doesn't mean you can't take an active interest in their well being, but it does mean that you don't sit around and gossip about the rest of the office with one or two of them.

    Management classes are helpful, especially those that deal with resolving conflicts (you'll have to do that a lot).

    badpoet on
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