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3 Things to Know About Becoming a Manager

Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

You've worked hard, climbed the ladder, and are finally being offered an opportunity to become a manager at your company. Getting promoted to management level is typically something to celebrate, but before you rush to update your business cards and share your news with the world, you may want to think twice about going that route. Though there are many perks to being a manager, there are also certain pitfalls you should be aware of.

1. You may have more on-the-job pressure

As an individual contributor at your company, you're responsible for completing certain tasks within a specified time frame. As a manager, however, it's your job to make sure that multiple people are doing their jobs correctly and on time. Managing a team means overseeing not just personalities, but a number of different moving parts. It also means putting your own reputation on the line if things don't end up going smoothly. The result? Once you take on that management role, you may come to find that your stress level rises. And that could impact not just your attitude about work, but your outlook in general.

A man stands over a team of professionals, reviewing documents.


2. You'll probably spend more time in meetings

Though meetings are a part of life for workers at all different levels, once you become a manager, you can expect your schedule to contain even more of them. Career site The Muse reports that middle managers typically spend about 35% of their time in meetings, while those in upper management spend half their time in meetings. Ouch.

Not only can a heavy meeting schedule impact your productivity, but it might also constitute a mental strain. Let's face it: It's not easy spending four hours or more each day discussing work issues ad nauseam, and while some of those meetings might be useful, you're likely to find that a chunk of them are nothing more than a waste of time. This isn't to say that you shouldn't accept a management role because it means more meetings, but do be aware that you'll probably have less time to yourself during the workday should you go that route.

Furthermore, spending all that time in meetings could result in a need to work longer hours. And while that's not an uncommon side effect of being a manager, it's one you should consider before saying yes.

3. You might spend less time doing the things you enjoy

When you're an individual contributor on a team, you're typically given specific things to work on, whether it's writing marketing copy or playing around with software code. Once you become a manager, however, you may not get the same opportunity to dabble in the tasks that interest you. That's because a lot of your time will probably be spent dealing with interdepartmental politics, writing performance reviews, disciplining employees as needed, and doing other such tasks that managers are responsible for.

If you enjoy the day-to-day aspects of your job, then be aware that once you move into a management role, you may not get to work on them nearly as much. Be sure to get a good sense of how you'll spend your days as a manager, because while the title might sound good in theory, you may not enjoy it in practice.

We all want to get promoted and grow our careers, but sometimes, moving into a management role isn't the answer. If you want to move up at your company without having to take on the specific duties that tend to come with being a manager, it pays to see if there's an alternate solution. You could, for example, seek out a promotion to team leader, where you'll get to remain involved in the nitty-gritty but take on more responsibility. Being a manager can be a solid career move, but don't go there unless you're convinced it'll actually make you happy.

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