Never Give Up a Chance to Become a Manager
Date: Thursday , February 01, 2007
I have had the opportunity to become a manager early on and I spurned the offer only to find the chance coming back after a long wait. Switching isnít as easy as one thinks. It takes years of seasoning at a particular place and position after which one can think of a switch from the technical field to a managerial field or the other way round. Switching becomes more difficult in technology companies as one particular move in appointment can make or break a company.
Patience pay when one thinks of a switch. Working in one stream for long comes with advantages like understanding, maturity, organizational skills, and planning. These are very crucial from a switch point of view. Though it is difficult to learn them, itís always important that one learns these skills day in and day out as they come in handy when one thinks of a switch from a technical ladder to managerial ladder or vice versa.
Understanding is important because one needs to know what should the company do, what do the employees need, how to make a product or service popular and what do the customers strive for? In my 24 years of service in project management and product development, I have learnt all these and they have come handy when I decided to switch.
Maturity is important because one can lead a team or company and take it to the next level only if one has experience and only with experience you mature. No one can mature straight out of the engineering or business school. Yes you are brimming with ideas when you are through with your studies but they may or may not be accepted by the higher management.
It is also important you have the organizational skill, which is one of the most crucial ingredients for any business. Businesses can go places only if you have the ability to organize everything it takes to build a successful career or a company. When you think of a switch, be confident of your organizational skills as it may be put to test at any point of time.
Last but not the least you should plan your career very early with regards to what you want to become and have a clear roadmap for it. Concentrate on it such a way that when you are given an opportunity to manage a company portfolio, you should grab it and there should be no turning back.
I am of the firm belief that if one is seriously thinking of making it to the management stream after working in the technical side, they should strive for these four skills early on and should emphasize on them from the day they join the company. They should talk to managers in the company to learn from what they speak. All managers have different perspectives, on how they perceive issues. You should never give up on learning, as it will help you overcome all obstacles. These managerial skills you learn will help you in your private life and make you a better person.
My last word is: if you are thinking of shifting from management to technical side, go ahead and do it, as there are plenty of options for growth in the work.
The author was till recently Engineering Manager at LVL7 Systems.