Is it always tough at the top?
April 2, 2012 5:26 AM Subscribe
Does managing former peers make management harder or easier?
posted by socksister to work & money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
15 months ago I asked this question
about whether or not to take a promotion. I took the job on secondment and found it to be enough of a challenge that I stayed. I'm still in that role and have found I'm pretty good at assigning and appraising work and recruiting new people, even managing thorny personal issues that occaisionally affected individual members' performance, but line managing former peers has been pretty stressful. Our team is mostly seen as exemplary in the work we do, and we seem pretty close-knit from the outside but it is taking a toll on me personally. I find the management position is often weird and alienating and I don't like feeling responsible for people I was formerly pretty close to (in a work context) - especially when having to manage problems. I've had great reports from my own manager and my team reports an improvement since I took over but I have no idea if the reason we hang together so well is because of our history rather than my management ability. I also feel a bit stifled - the secondment status means my areas of authority are really unclear and I'm not sure I like being away from the satisfaction and visibility of front line delivery.
However we're just in the final phase of the project that started my secondment so had planned to stick it out until July, when the role will be reviewed and either made permanent (in which case I would need to apply to remain in post) or eliminated. If the role was eliminated or if I applied and didn't get it (or didn't apply at all), I would go back to my former role/pay within the team. In truth this looks pretty appealing - there are new projects arising that I'm interested in and I'd probably be able to shape my former role to focus on those areas without being responsible for everyone else. I'd take less work home and stop angsting about stuff beyond my control (because that's what the manager is for!). The pay difference is less than £2k and I could absorb it.
So far so good but I've now been offered a more senior position at another place. I applied out of curiosity - I didn't think I'd actually get an offer and now I have to way up the pros of staying in a job I can step back from, or move on to something completely unknown but with greater management responsibilities. It looks like a great opportunity - the company is more prestigious, the pay is much higher and more in line with a management position and the benefits are great but I feel burnt out by the current post and am worried about going further down that line. There are definately areas of management that I enjoy but I don't know if it's for me in the long term.
I need to give New Company an answer this week. Can anyone lend any perspective?