Today’s post comes to us from Helen Sabell. She works for the College for Adult Learning, and is passionate about lifelong learning. She has designed, developed and authored many workplace leadership and training programs, both in Australia and overseas. You can connect with her on LinkedIn. Thanks for the post today Helen!
Management roles require individuals with determination, exceptional communication skills and an ability to respond to difficult situations. A manager is not only responsible for their personal work but the triumphs and failures of the entire team.
As a position that offers outstanding opportunity and the chance to demonstrate strong leadership, many professionals will find themselves willing to accept the promotion despite not feeling ready. If you find yourself struggling with confidence or unable to handle your current workload, it’s likely you just aren’t ready to manage yet.
This isn’t a failure on your part, just another part of the career journey. Ensuring that you are ready and able to effectively lead a team will take time. Check out six signs that suggest you should maybe politely decline the offer instead.
1. You Question Yourself Constantly
As a team leader you will need to be knowledgeable and approachable – if a coworker has an important question, chances are they’ll look to you for an answer. While no professional can claim to know everything, if there are large gaps in your understanding now, this could lead to bigger problems down the track.
A successful team dynamic will see individuals that are able to rely on each other and bounce off one another’s ideas. As the manager, you should lead this communication by example, providing extensive support and time to your team. If you question your confidence to carry out this task, then perhaps it’s time to step back and evaluate before you make a move that could hurt your career in the long run.
2. You Aren’t A Team Player
Ambition is a great attribute, but like all things it should be moderated. Your drive to succeed should never have a negative motivation towards any other employee. Success comes in many forms, and one individual triumph will mean very little if your entire team fails by comparison.
Leadership has long been considered by many as a display of individual strength, which is true. However, an effective leader will work with a broad network of people in order to realize the end goal. A leader without little support is of little use to a business. So if your head is still too focused on personal ambition, instead of the wider business, it could be wiser to progress your career forward until you feel comfortable enough to take on a larger responsibility for your coworkers.
3. You Don’t Know Enough
Questioning your knowledge is a bad habit, but knowing very little about your role is worse. Skill gaps in the workforce are an increasing problem, as education and experience continue to vary greatly. In this case, your knowledge is power. Understanding your role in the workplace is an important step towards becoming a more effective, agile professional.
Enrolling in training courses, such as project management or degree, or taking an internal workshop, are ways to boost your knowledge and demonstrate an active desire to learn more. It’s important that employees maintain an open mind and positive attitude, now might not be the right time to take the job, but with a little practice, you’ll get there.
4. You Hate What You Do
A manager needs to pour their passion and commitment into their job. You can expect to work longer hours, to bear a heavier burden and have less space to complain about it than your colleagues!
Take a step back and analyze how much you enjoy your work. Does it give you pride and a sense of belonging? Does it leave you up till 1AM worrying? These are all important questions that every professional will need to consider before taking on a role that will inevitably involve more dedication.
5. You Don’t Have The Time
Juggling wok and outside concerns is different for every individual. Some people are happy to spend the weekend buried in spreadsheets and proposals, where others have hobbies and social commitments that they value just as much, if not more. Both situations are completely understandable! If you don’t have the time commitment to take on a management role, then it’s best to be upfront about it.
Giving up the things you love will only encourage you to resent your job and force compromises where you aren’t willing to do so. If you’re at a point in life where your interests mean a lot to you then it could be smarter to put the promotion on hold and balance your time accordingly. A management role is a new and exciting prospect for any professional, but like all things in life, they need to come at the right time for you.
Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about lifelong learning. She has designed, developed and authored many workplace leadership and training programs, both in Australia and overseas.