At some point in a technical professional’s career, one must make a choice. Growth in this field means either you go into architecture or into management. So if you opt for the second choice, you’re in a different ballgame than you were before when you started your career.
The truth is, most technical managers who are promoted do so by rising through the ranks. But their competence over their previous positions doesn’t mean that they will do great as a leader. Taking the leap into management will entail a lot of changes.
But if you are a newly promoted technical manager, here are the top three things to look out for:
1. Balancing and prioritizing your workload.
There are two types of newly promoted managers. The first one is so concerned about his/ her paperwork that she rarely finds time to manage people. The second one is overly involved in managing his/her team that he/she neglects her other tasks. Be aware of which of these two you are leaning towards. Being aware of this will help you manage your time more effectively between these two.
2. Setting boundaries.
Now that you’re a manager, certain boundaries must be set. Your “peers” back then may be the very same people that you now have to manage. Be careful how you approach them. You don’t want them to be overly reliant on your familiarity that will make managing them more difficult.
3. Motivating the team.
Managing other people is a lot of responsibility. Learn how to be adept at understanding their strengths and weaknesses. This way you can boost productivity while also taking their welfare into account.
These top three things can also be a guide to avoid being comfortable with mediocrity. At the same time, it sets the criteria in knowing when to keep going. With these things in mind, consider that patience is the key to making it happen.
As observed, the technology industry is unique to other industries that deal with management. Ideal employees of said companies usually have the technical and managerial skills. But the reality is that, most employees possess only one or the other. It is quite rare to find an engineer who is also business savvy. That’s why new managers with a great background of technical work, need enough patience. This patience is essential in getting into the details of the tasks to identify which is urgent. Together with this is getting into the level of expertise of the people you are managing. Adjusting to this new approach would take a longer period of time than expected. But the time spent on adjusting is an investment. It is growth for you as the manager, the employees and the company as a whole.
While technical experts are still adjusting to the managerial roles, it shows that there is a growing demand for them to be in it. This new trend puts technical professionals in the limelight. Resulting to more opportunities for career growth. This trend encouraged schools to incorporate technology leadership in their MBA programs. New managers with a vision would consider this as one step to set them apart from their “peers.” Not only that it creates the proper boundaries but also strengthens your credibility.
More than patience, the stage of transitioning requires a lot of hard work. There is no one right way to transition for every one. Each new manager’s experience of transitioning into their new position is unique. So it is to be expected that you’ll make mistakes along the way. But the way taking the necessary steps to transform your life of mediocrity to growth and progress is not an easy one. So don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help.