How do I constructively refuse to become a people manager?
January 29, 2014 12:47 PM Subscribe
I am a senior technical specialist in my company, and I've been asked to manage a small team. This is being sold to me as a great development opportunity, lots of prestige, greater authority and decision-making power, etc. etc.. While that all sounds great, it's a line management role. It's not that I'm not a people person, but I feel that it's not the right time in my life to be taking on a major new responsibility. How do I politely and constructively turn down the "opportunity"?
posted by hoverboards don't work on water to Work & Money (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This new role is the path to longer hours in the office, which will absolutely tip my work-life balance, at the expense of my wife and 6 month old daughter, who need a lot of support from me.
Additionally, while I enjoy my technical work, I feel my department, company (and perhaps industry) is run on a culture of fear and blame. Entering the management structure makes me part of that. Perhaps I could be part of the solution. But I perceive other people managers as unhappy, stressed and overworked - and the ones I've consulted largely admit to feeling this way.
I should mention that this "promotion" will not attract any additional money or grade.
Refusing the role will cause my own managers a headache as they will have to rethink their proposed team structure. So I want to refuse this in a way that makes it clear I'm not lazy, ungrateful, or unmotivated. I was going to add unambitious to that list, but in fact I probably am unambitious, in the sense that I don't have any desire to climb the ladder!
How do I do it?