A step up in your career. You have been appointed the manager in the private or public sector. It’s nail biting time….
You have applied for a job as a manager in the private or public sector. Out of the scores of applicants, you were selected for the short list of 12 people. You receive 72 hours later a telephone call to say you got the job. You are thrilled. It is a further step in your career. You are now a manager in a major company of talented people in a smoothly running organisation providing a valuable public service.
You start to have some self-doubt. You wonder whether you have enough experience to handle being a manager. You wonder what you have to offer. You realise that your new job with the increase in income comes at a price. You have far more work. You have far more responsibilities. You go to committee meetings wondering what you have to say. You are afraid if you ask questions you might sound stupid. These thoughts are common. Very common.
You have walked into a very impersonal environment. You don’t know anybody. Nobody knows you. A company may run smoothly and efficiently but may lack the personal touch. Mindful of others, you try to remember to greet people when you arrive at work. You speak to people, even briefly, during the day. You ask lots of questions. You express appreciation. You let people know it will take time to settle in.
Here are 12 Points for a New Manager:
- Request a personal interview with your boss and other seniors. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation. Find out in detail what the bosses and your team expect from you. Have lots of questions. Write them down.
- Then request a personal interview for 10 to 15 minutes with every person under your wing. Make sure you see everyone. Make it almost like a job interview. Give each person lots of support and make clear your availability. Take notes after. Try to remember names. Use a method to remember names. What they share with you can be confidential one to ones. This helps with the trust. Or inform the worker if you wish to share with another anything discussed.
- Get well informed about the specific roles of staff, so you know their tasks, skills and responsibilities. Find out from them their job description.
- Reflect on your prior experience to recall what might be helpful for your new company.
- Google question to see other ways of working so you can offer fresh angles on tasks.
- Take notice of many aspects of office life to see what can improve without rejecting the old approach.
- You may get a rebuff from someone in the office about your worth as a manager. Don’t hesitate to state in three sentences your authority if questioned. “I have … years of experience. This company gave me the position based on my experience and qualifications despite numerous applications for the same job. I know I am working with a thoughtful team.”
- A good manager tunes in slowly. Remind the bosses you have to settle in. That could three months or more. You need weeks to go through the induction period. Your team needs to feel secure and get to know you. A good company recognises a new manager needs a gradual process of assimilation. Try to get on as many extra training programmes as possible.
- Go carefully through your job description and draw from that as you develop your role.
- Managers can find themselves with mountains of paperwork, numerous emails, and reports to read and write. Remember to cultivate the capacity to listen to others, to share, to develop empathy, keep noble silence rather than talk behind somebody’s back, avoid complaining, express appreciation and offer helpful suggestions through word, memos and emails.
- Remember to keep some energy for the rest of the day, family and friends. You will remember the one-liner from the 1980’s: “You won’t get to the end of your life and wish you had spent more time in the office.””
- Remember, too, you can spend a very worthwhile life in the office if the work is wholesome, supportive and beneficial for one and all. People who spend a lot of time in the office can make a difference to the world.
PS. Remember to breathe in and out mindfully, especially if you feel under pressure or you are getting speedy or you are thinking too much. Breathe in. Breath out. Relax. Breathe in. Breathe out. Relax. Breathe in. Breathe out. Relax.