Are you deciding if management is right for your career path? This blog will discuss the pros & cons of entering management. PRO’S There are many positives to being a manager. Managers generally are paid more than others in the company. They appear to have more power. And the power and pay differences tend to give the position more status or prestige. Remuneration: Certainly the top manager in a company gets paid more than anyone else in the company. Managers are generally paid more than everyone in their group as well, but not always. For example an Architect in a project may get paid more than a Project Manager.
Smart companies pay their people based on their value to the company, not on their title or position, and in that company, key members are more valuable than their manager. Authority: Most people, including most managers, believe that managers have more authority than the people in their groups. While it’s true that managers commonly have certain functional authority delegated to them, like setting work schedules for the group. But true power cannot be delegated to them from above. Managers are only as powerful as they are capable of making their group more successful.
And while their ability to lead the group greatly influences it, their power comes from the willingness of the people from the group that grant it to them. Value: In our society, people value titles. A title of Senior Vice President, Department Head sounds much more impressive than Principle Architect etc. However, the manager may get $90,000 per year while the Principal Architect may get well over $100,000 per year. Accomplishment: If your goal is to be top manager CEO/GM/MD of a one of the fortune 500 company, you probably should start early on a management career.
If you have Business Administration degree (Graduate or PG) would be added advantage for your goal. If you want to be President of the India, a management track isn’t required. If you want to brag to your family/friends about what a success you are, and authority, prestige, and money are important to your definition of success, management may be they way to go. If you measure success by friendships and how soundly you sleep at night, a management career can give you that, but so can many others. CON’S Nobody likes the boss, and you are lonely at the top. You are the person who always has to make the decision, right or wrong.
Wrong decisions may screw-up your job. On top of that there are legal liabilities as well as restrictions that non-managers don’t have. Aloof: You are not as close to the employees in your group when you are the boss. You can’t afford to be. A manager needs to be a little removed from the employees in order to objectively make the hard decisions. Many first time managers, promoted from within the group to manage it, are amazed at how quickly former friends become cold and distant. Even an experienced manager, brought in from outside, finds the employees more aloof than they are with each other.
Long waiting results: A painter gets almost immediate feedback on whether or not he’s doing a good job. Is the paint the right color; is it going where it should. A programmer also finds out pretty quickly whether or not a new sub-routine runs. Management isn’t that way. Goals are usually more long-term, quarterly or even annual. The real measure of a manager’s success, an improvement in their people management skill is even more long term and more difficult to manage. If you can wait months or longer for feedback, management may be for you. Ownership: You may, and in most cases should, have your employees make many of their own decisions.
However, ultimately the responsibility for the final decision rests with the manager. When it appeared that low team moral might have damaged the project, it was a manager who had to make the decision. It’s the manager’s job to make the decision, right or wrong. Being watched, always: There is always someone after your job. As a manager, you may have several people in your group who think they could do your job better and are actively working to get that chance. You have several people within your own organization who want your job and more people on the outside who are after it as well.
They may not agree with the decisions you made (see above) or felt they could have made better decisions. You may have actually made a wrong decision and they will use that as leverage to try and push you aside. The higher you go in any organization, the fewer positions there are at that level and the more competition there is for them. Legal Liabilities: Managers have legal liabilities that others don’t. Managers frequently have to sign documents, they have to ensure the workplace is free from harassment; they have to keep their people safe. If a manager fails in any of these responsibilities, they may be held legally liable.
Restrictions: Managers often have restrictions placed on them because of their position. For example, a normal employee can exercise stock options or trade in the company stock whenever they wish, but the top managers (even in most of the companies their closed ones also restricted) who are involved in making financial results are restricted to windows of time that exclude immediately before and after quarterly financial results are announced. Weighing the Pro’s and Con’s To decide whether a career in management is right for you, you have to weigh the pros and cons.
You have to decide what best suits you and what’s best for you, not what matters to someone else. If pay, authority and value are important to you, you may want to consider a career in management. However, if you don’t like being legally or financially responsible for the actions of yours and others, management may be a bad choice. In the real world, it’s not going to be that cut and dried. There will be some things about management that appeal to you and others that don’t. You have to weigh all these factors and decide. Management is not right for everyone.
Those who like to have responsibility, enjoy working with people, able to deal with uncertainty and making decisions when you never seem to have all the facts in time. Probably will get paid more, but believe me you’ll earn it. However, when it all comes together; when all your people are pulling together toward the same goal and setting new records it can be a great feeling. When you see someone you trained go off on their own and become successful, you can take a certain amount of pride for having helped them get started. Management can be frustrating, and a lot of hard work.