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5 Reasons a Management Position Isn't for You

By Maurie Backman – Nov 13, 2018 at 8:04AM

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The path to becoming the boss may not be the ideal one for your career.

Many people strive to climb the ladder at their respective companies and eventually get promoted to management positions. But while you might think that's what you want for your career, the reality is that you may be better off steering clear of a management role. Here are a few reasons why.

1. You don't like paperwork

Being the boss doesn't just mean calling the shots; it often means documenting those shots, as well as a host of other key items, in detail. If the idea of spending several hours a week on paperwork (whether of the actual or on-screen variety) doesn't appeal to you, then you may be better off in an individual contributor role.

Man presenting to a group of professionally dressed people


2. You're already sick of attending meetings

Although meetings are a part of life for many employees, the frequency at which you attend them is apt to intensify once you become a manager. In fact, middle managers are said to spend about 35% of their working hours in meetings, while folks in upper management spend as much as half of their time locked in conference rooms. If you don't enjoy meetings, you may want to avoid going the management route.

3. You enjoy getting your hands dirty

Managers are often forced to sit back and oversee key tasks rather than work on them directly. For example, if you're an IT professional and enjoy troubleshooting problems yourself, you might find that if you become a manager, you'll be required to delegate those issues to other people. As such, you might lose out on the opportunity to not only do the things you enjoy, but boost your technical skills in the process.

4. You value your downtime

There's no hard and fast rule stating that managers always work longer hours than individual contributors. That said, if you go the management route, there's a good chance your hours will increase, thereby eating into your personal time. If you're currently enjoying a decent work-life balance and don't want to jeopardize it, you may be better off staying where you are.

5. You don't handle stress very well

Stress is often a part of work life regardless of the position you have. But when you become a manager and are suddenly accountable for not just your own performance, but that of your team, the associated pressure can really take a toll. If you're the type who manages stress well, this won't necessarily be an issue. But if you know you have a tendency to succumb to stress easily, you may be better off in a role that's less likely to trigger it.

There are plenty of benefits to taking on a management position at work. Not only might you earn more money, but you might develop key skills that serve your career well. At the same time, be sure to understand the repercussions of being a manager, and recognize that there are likely other paths your career could take that don't involve you becoming the boss.

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