Over the Easter Weekend, I read a blog called ‘Why would anyone want to have children?’ which painted a personal, but quite negative view of what happens when you have kids. It listed all the things that the author would no longer be able to do. This is fine. I remember telling my childless friends a few years ago that having my children had changed my life – in some ways they made it better, in others they made it worse. I was happy before kids, I’m happy after kids, but my life is VERY different.
Yes, I miss going on murder mystery weekends and city breaks, which I loved, but I have discovered Centre Parcs, which I also love. I miss being able to indulge in a full afternoon’s viewing of motorsport, but I’ve discovered the joys of visiting parks and zoos (and catching up with the race in the evening with a glass of wine). I miss being able to do things spontaneously, but I'm grateful that I now plan ahead and never waste a day.
I said to my friends that before you decide to have kids, you have to be ready for your life to change. The same is true of deciding to become a manager.
You can’t keep doing all the things you used to do before you had managerial responsibilities. You can’t hope problems will go away, avoid situations you don’t like, lose yourself in simple but enjoyable tasks or even ‘clock off’ at 5pm because that’s when you’re paid until. No. As a manager you have to tackle problems – they are YOUR responsibility, you have to tackle difficult situations, you can’t spend all of your time ‘doing’ tasks and you certainly can’t expect to finish on time every day. However, you also find the satisfaction of taking control of your work, making decisions, developing people, solving problems and creating the future.
Like being a parent, some people will be ready for this earlier than others; some people will never want it; some people will be better at it than others; some people will love it and some people will find it hard. The one thing that CAN be guaranteed is that being a manager will be VERY different to being a team member. The key thing is to decide if you are ready to make that change and leave your old role behind. If you are, there’s lots of help available for new managers if you just search it out, and remember that you can’t expect things to be the same as they were before, so let go of your old role and embrace the change!