New Management Job
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~
While it’s hard to walk into a new job, sometimes the most difficult jobs to take are in-company promotions. You have the advantage, of course, of being familiar with the company and its policies. You know the work and the people. But… you need to transition from peer to boss.
In a job in a new company, you can more easily step into that leadership role, but you must get to know the people, the policies, the company and the workload. How can you step into this new management job and be successful regardless of the new circumstances?
Here are seven steps to help—whether it’s a new job or an in-house promotion.
1. Talk to your boss. You want to clearly understand your role. What does he or she expect of you in this new position? What are your added responsibilities? You might ask the boss how he has dealt with a similar transition. How did he relate to his former peers? Don’t just talk at the start of the new job. Keep in frequent contact with your boss asking for feedback on your performance on a regular basis. That way, you can make sure you don’t stray far from his or her goals without correction.
2. Remember why you were promoted. Sometimes, when we’ve been working with talented successful professionals, we wonder why we were chosen over them. There’s always a reason. Make a list of your skills and talents. Look at the projects you’ve accomplished and the value you’ve brought to the company. You are ready and capable of taking this step. Own it.
3. Read up. Your new management job may call for new skills. Certainly you will need to step up your leadership qualities. Read books on management and leadership. Schedule your time to include learning leadership skills for your new role.
4. Consider coaching or finding a mentor. When you are in a new job, you’re uncomfortable. There’s so much to learn. At times like this, an experienced voice can be invaluable. If there is someone you admire within the company, take him or her to lunch and ask for advice. Most people are generous when they know you’re interested in learning. If there are no mentors at hand, you may want to hire an experienced coach to streamline your progress.
5. Choose leadership. When you are interacting with former peers, it’s easy to slip back into old ways. Even in new situations there are times where you can to choose to be a leader or choose to minimize yourself. Be aware of those times. Be conscious of them. Then make the decision to lead.
6. Give yourself time. When you’re new to your job, you can’t expect to be perfect right away. Not any more than a young basketball player can have the same skill sets as a Michael Jordan. You can, however, practice like he practices and value what he values. As a new manager deliberately make choices to lead.
7. Adapt management attributes. Make a list of all the qualities a great manager has. Perhaps you’ll list organization, follow through, listening, authority, decisiveness, or integrity. Each day write one of these qualities in a place you’ll see it throughout the day. Make each action, decision, email or interaction deliberately considering this quality. Own the quality for the day. As you do this each day, these attributes will become yours.
Whether you are promoted from within or hired from outside, these seven steps can assure you fill that new management job successfully… and set yourself up so you can advance again.
If you have questions about your new job, contact Joel.
Talkback: What have been some of the difficulties you’ve faced in a new management job? What tips can you give others to successfully overcome new leadership challenges?
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