In many organisations, once you have proven your abilities, the next logical step is to move into management. While on the face of it this might appear sensible, it is worth consciously deciding if it is right for you. So what are the key questions to ask yourself?
1. What Do You Want?
The obvious reply is more money. The reality is that money is rarely a huge motivator in the longer term. You might want challenging work, to make a contribution, to continually grow, to become the technical expert in your field. Will a move into management take you closer to what you want? Take the time to find out what really matters to you.
2. What Is Life Really Like As A Manager?
You can read books, articles, listen to podcasts or speakers that will tell you about management. What you need to know is what it is really like. Speak to those in management roles. See if you can shadow some managers for a few days to see what the job is like.
3. What Skills, Knowledge and Personal Attributes Do You Need To Succeed?
Managing is very different to doing. There are a whole set of skills, knowledge and attributes you need to succeed. For example:
• Taking responsibility
• Problem solving
• Project Management
Take the time to find out about the skills, knowledge and personal attributes you will need in your organisation, industry or specialism.
4. What Are You Really Great At?
Find out about yourself. Assess your own strengths and get feedback from others. The idea is to get an idea of where you excel. Once you know this you can start to consider if management and you are a good fit.
5. Where Do You Struggle?
Knowing your strengths is vital. Of equal importance is understanding where you struggle. Assess yourself and get feedback from others. Use this as a basis of personal development planning.
6. Do Your Strengths Greatly Exceed Your Weaknesses?
Having strong foundations to build on is essential. If you find that your strengths far outweigh your weaknesses you have excellent foundations to build on.
7. Is The Time Right?
It can be tempting to be lured by the salary increase but ask yourself is the time right to move to management. Indicators that it might be include:
• Possessing the right qualities
• Having positive feedback
• A desire for a new challenge
• Feeling that you have achieved all that you can in a task based role
• A readiness for change
8. What Do I Need To Focus On If The Time Is Not Right?
If you decide that you want to move into management eventually but not at the current time, start to put a development plan in place to:
• Build your strengths
• Work on your weaker areas
• Get you into a state of readiness
Ask for the help you need to achieve your plan and ultimate goal.
Moving into management is a major decision. Treat it as such and you will move into it ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.