by Meredith Masse
Congratulations! You’ve been hired for or promoted to a management position for the first time in your career! This truly is an exciting day.
It’s also a day that changes…everything. You were once the rockstar subject-matter or technical expert in your last role and, because of your success, they’ve asked you to lead others and coach them to be as good as you are.
Yet, if you’re smart (and I know you are) you realize the being a manager, especially one of the greats, requires an entirely different set of skills than that technical prowess you honed for years. Just like learning to ride a bike when you were a kid, you’re going to fall, suffer bruises and feel, at least a dozen times, like saying “do I really want to learn how to do this?” before the new skills feel anything close to “natural.”
Let’s be honest about the transition: it’s not easy and challenges abound. Here are few challenges you can expect and ideas about how to handle them:
Challenge #1: It can be lonely. Especially if you’re used to being “one of the gang” in your previous role, and even if it had been at a different company, your status has shifted, and you’re no longer part of the worker-bee clique. Don’t expect your team to invite you to happy hours, BBQs, the weekend kickball game. This will sting the most if you’re now managing a team of former peers. Have faith, they still like you, even if they don’t extend the same invitations to hang out.
Training Wheels #1: Time for some new work buddies. Look to your new peers and other leaders, devote time to building those relationships and join their “gang.” A mentor or outside certified ...