How to Succeed as a First-Time Manager
Getting hired or promoted to be a manager at a young age is quite an accomplishment. If you are in a management role early in your career, you likely have been chosen for your performance, work ethic and ability to lead. But many bright young professionals often find the road from employee to manager a bit bumpier than expected. Excellent performance as an individual isn’t always a good predictor for success as a manager. What issues are likely to arise and how can you help make the transition smoother? Here are our tips for success for younger managers stepping into the management role for the first time.
Stop Thinking Only About Yourself – One of the most common challenges is the shift from working only as an individual to now being tied to the success of the entire team. You aren’t in the role of the star athlete anymore, but more like the coach responsible for the success of the group. You’ll need to perform as well as inspire and motivate your team to perform as well. If they fail, so do you.
Get Schooled – Seek out opportunities to enhance your managerial skills. You don’t have to do it all alone or know everything on day one. Look to your network to find a mentor who has been a successful leader. This can be a previous manager whose style you want to emulate or someone else who you already trust at your company. It’s also a great idea to research articles, read relevant books or take a course to support your leadership training.
Study Your Team – Take the time to learn about the people you will be managing and understand their role in the company. Before you make any changes or improvements, you will want to learn everything you can about your team. It’s a good idea to meet with each team member individually to get to know their skillsets and review their goals. Observe how they communicate with each other and look for any places where processes could be improved.