Woot! Woot! You made it to the ranks of management. Pat yourself on the back and let it sink in. To start this new phase of your career on a solid footing, here are four things you might consider doing along with updating your LinkedIn profile.
1. Best Boss 911
You probably have stayed in touch with your favorite manager. If not this is an excellent time to reach out. The best boss has already taught by example – why not make it a formal mentoring relationship? Every new manager needs someone they can bounce ideas off of, get help navigating personnel challenges, share fears and insecurities with confidentially, and more. Becoming a team leader doesn’t always come naturally and having a safe person to talk things through is priceless.
2. SWOT Yourself
This is a terrific moment for self-reflection. While your performance, skills, talent, and personality have landed you here, take a minute to evaluate yourself through a managerial lens. A handy tool is the tried and true Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats evaluation. What strengths do you bring to the table? Where might you be weak? Are there changes in your company or industry that you can take advantage of in your new role? What might stand in the way of your success? Increasing your self-awareness can point to areas you might improve or merely polish up so they can shine brighter.
3. Learn, Baby, Learn
After completing an honest self-evaluation, you may recognize you need help shoring up some traditional managerial skills. These may include how to give feedback, how to resolve conflict, how to inspire collaboration, or how to evaluate performance. Scope out the resources your company offers and courses you can take elsewhere. Advocate for some training dollars to be spent on you as an investment that will reap benefits for the organization.
4. Now Shift…
Before this promotion, your day was focused solely on your projects and what you had to get done. Now you’re responsible for keeping everyone on track. That means you’re going to have to learn to delegate and assign tasks and projects. That takes big-picture thinking, planning, evaluating skillsets, setting performance metrics and keeping people accountable. And letting go. It’s a significant shift in mindset and control. Further, you may have to transition from peer and friend status to supervisor. That’s going to require establishing a new relationship built on trust, transparency, communication, and positivity. Hint: this may be something to cover with your mentor or in your training as discussed above.
Did you gulp? It’s natural to be a jumble of feelings right now – excited, nervous, proud… that’s a normal reaction as it’s an acknowledgment of the momentous leap you are taking. Relax. You’re here because you’re an outstanding talent. Now, take a deep breath, follow these tips, and before you know it someone will be reaching out to you as they look to complete their own Step 1. Good luck!