I’ve been promoted at my company, but I’m not sure the extra money will be worth the stress and extra responsibility. I need help making this tough decision. Elaine Varelas guides.

When you are a valued individual contributor and suddenly find yourself promoted, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons associated with moving into a managerial role. Elaine Varelas guides on how to make an empowered choice.

Q. I’ve been working at my company for less than a year and my manager is leaving the company. I’ve been offered a promotion to his role based on his recommendation, along with a sizable salary increase. However, I’ve never had any desire to manage people so I’m having a hard time deciding whether or not to accept the promotion. I’m not sure the extra money will be worth the stress and responsibility that comes with managing people.

A. Congratulations on having the confidence from your manager to be recommended for a manager role. You understand that being a manager is not easy. Unfortunately, most opportunities to climb the ladder and increase your income happen through managing people as opposed to having an individual contributor ladder up an organization. Many people aspire to be a manager just as many people never want to manage people. Both are valid career options. You are right to take this opportunity seriously and look at whether the financial incentive is worth the stress and responsibility.

If you have the opportunity, have a conversation with your manager about why he recommended you for the manager role. What is it that that he sees as your skill set, why he thinks you would be good at the job, and what are the pros and cons of being a manager for this specific team, and the pros and cons of management in general.. His input will be valuable but not the sole factor in determining your next step. Most management roles are more than a 40-hour week, and you may want to consider the impact additional hours will have on the other areas of your life. There may be people in your life you’d like to discuss this with.

And just as importantly, how will the organization view you if you decide not to take the promotion? Unfortunately, many organizations dislike when an individual doesn’t want to take additional responsibility. It might be better if they didn’t force people into management who shouldn’t be there.

There are many assessment tools that organizations can use to assess whether or not you have the skill set to be a good manager. If you are interested in taking one of those, you can ask Human Resources to do that or look online. But that still may not give you the answer. If you’ve never had a desire to be a manager, it may be because you’ve never had a good manager. It may also be because you are very satisfied in the contributions you make as an individual contributor and are quite comfortable staying in that role.

Take a close look at what is driving you. Is it fear of the unknown? Is it a very solid sense of what you are good at and what you don’t want to do? This is a decision that you will need to carefully contemplate. Either way, if you should you decide not to be a manager, excel at your individual contributor role. and seek out other opportunities to climb within the organization. If you do decide to become a manager, be sure to ask for support and development. You can ask for an executive coach, to participate in an internal or external leadership development program and be committed to getting support. Go into this knowing that learning how to be a good manager is an investment the company needs to make if you move into this role. Consider this 50 50 accountability. You’ll commit yourself to learning how to be a great manager if the company commits to providing support. The company wins, the people you manage win, and you take the first winning step toward a long successful career or as a manager, or a great try before you determine it’s not for you.


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