Darren Tay is director of BTI Consultants Hong Kong.
My first managerial role is a bit of a let-down. Should I stick it out?
I was promoted to a management role six months ago in a large multinational. Unfortunately, things have not turned out as I hoped.
I find myself with less responsibility than anticipated and, due to recent restructuring, my time is taken up increasingly with meetings I really don’t see the point of.
I am tempted to look elsewhere, but as it is my first management position, I worry that such a short stint might look bad on my CV. What do you think I should do?
Moving up into a management role for most people is a natural career progression. Generally, a promotion comes with increased responsibilities and competencies that are associated with the role. However, when it comes to job satisfaction, for many, a higher position may not necessarily guarantee an improvement. It is not uncommon at all for the step up to end up feeling like a step backward.
Given that this is your first management role, it will help if you take a step back and evaluate the real situation. Firstly, look at your expectations for the role in relation to the reality of it. Ask yourself if your expectations are truly aligned to those of the organisation.
Next, look at your current role before and after the restructuring. Review what you have learned in the last six months and consider what else you can learn moving forward.
Reflect on the different aspects of the role when you are evaluating your responsibilities. Consider areas such as problem solving and decision making, planning, people management and delegation, communications and meeting management.
Moving up the ladder does require time to learn the new role and get yourself adjusted to it. Long meetings are usually part and parcel of life higher up the corporate ladder, particularly with larger organisations.
So is managing relationships which could take up a lot of additional time from performing key tasks associated with the role. This includes not just managing subordinates; it involves managing peers and bosses.
As for possible course of action, my suggestion will be to engage the senior management (perhaps your boss) and HR to help you gain more insight into your career path with the organisation.
Having them engaged more in your leadership career, you may even open up opportunities to fast track your career, such as having a company-sponsored executive coach to guide your specific leadership need or be offered a prestigious executive leadership course.
We often see conflicts of wanting to move into management roles with technical people, like engineers and other certified professionals. Some have a preference on whether to take the technical or management route. If your aspiration is the management route, take the opportunity to immerse yourself into it.
If all else fails and when you are satisfied that what you are feeling in your current role is not just an adjustment issue, then you will know that it will be the right thing to do, to look elsewhere for something more in tune with your desires. Sometimes you should trust your instincts.