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Is management right for you?

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in Your Office Coach

Question: ‘In my company, the only way to get a decent raise is to be promoted, so I decided to apply for a management job. I expected to receive the same salary as my friend, who has a similar position with another team.  When I got the promotion, my new boss didn’t say how much my raise would be. However, he asked me to commit to staying in his department.  I told him I would stay as long as the money was right. It turns out that I not only make less than my friend, but I also work about 50% more hours. This promotion has been bad for my health, my family, and the quality of my work.  At this point, even a huge raise would not make me happy. I want to transfer to a different department, but I am not sure how to go about it.” — Underpaid & Overworked

Marie’s Answer: Since money was so important, I wonder why you didn’t inquire about the pay before accepting the position. But let’s move past that oversight to the real cause of your distress. You took this job for all the wrong reasons. If a fatter paycheck was your sole motivation for becoming a manager, it’s no wonder you’re unhappy.

Management work involves communicating expectations, coaching employees, making decisions and monitoring results. Long hours are often a fact of life.  So before compounding this error, you need to decide whether you actually enjoy being a manager. If so, a lateral transfer may solve your problem. But if not, you should consider other career options.

To explore the possibilities, talk with your human resources manager.  But be sure to focus on positive goals.  Saying that you’d like to learn new skills or handle bigger projects sounds so much better than “I want to work fewer hours for more money.”

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