What to expect as a first-time manager

What to expect as a first-time manager

Thursday October 20, 2016,

4 min Read

So you've got a confirmation mail from HR stating that the management has decided to offer you a managerial role. If you're like most others, you're probably getting ready to act like a manager, take charge of your team and perhaps break the news to your family and loved ones to see their response. It's great to feel excited about the new role, but have you decided what will happen once the party is over?


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Until now, people used to judge you based on your performance, your numbers and your hard work. But going forward, they will judge you based on your efficiency as a manager, how effectively you handle your team, keep your team members motivated, control the attrition rate and achieve the team target.

Along with power and authority, you'll also face many challenges, obstacles and hurdles that most of your colleagues may not understand at all. Some of these first-time challenges include:

Being the smartest person in the room

Earlier you were just a team member, so you could afford to be naive and have insufficient knowledge about any business related topic. But now things are going to change. With different team members asking their queries and doubts, you're supposed to be smart and responsible. Focus on becoming the most intelligent person in the room. Acquire as much knowledge as you can on a daily basis by different ways and means.

Shift in the focus

Earlier your competition was with different colleagues of yours, so you sidelined everything else and just focused on your self-growth. But now that you've been given a team to handle, your success is aligned with how well your team performs. If they succeed, you succeed. So, work on your self-growth, but at the same time, don't forget to help your team members grow.

Start taking initiatives

Unlike the old days, now you don't have a boss ordering you to do things, participate in activities, finish projects and stretch when required. You've to take care of everything and at the same time motivate your team members to go the extra mile. Instil the habit of taking initiatives to ensure things fall in line.

Understand your team members' point of view

I have seen quite a few first-time managers trying hard to win their superiors' trust and make a name for themselves. But in this process, they completely side-lined their team members and forgot that they were also in the same shoes until recently. This practice might give a false sense of achievement and happiness instantly but won't take them anywhere in the long run. If you're in a team handling position, make sure you understand your team members' point of view and take balanced actions by keeping your superiors and subordinates happy without hurting anyone's ego and self-esteem.

Redefine your relationships

You might have maintained an informal relation with other colleagues of your grade in the past, but now that you've become a manager, you need to draw a line and act accordingly. This includes your on-floor communication with team members and colleagues. At times you may have to ask your team members to stay back for a couple of extra hours or work on weekends due to work pressure. If you don't redefine your relationships at the workplace, you won't be able to get things done.

These are some of the common things that first-time managers often come across, and how effectively they deal with them determines their overall job satisfaction.

Have you gone through initial hurdles of being a first-time manager? If yes, please share your opinion about how to deal with the initial struggles and come out as a clear winner with others.