How to Know if You’re Ready to Be a Manager

managerAuthor: Kat Boogaard
Source: The Muse

You’re interested in stepping up into a management role with your current company, but there’s just one question that keeps nagging at you: Are you ready?

Sure, you’ve produced consistently great results in your existing position and have forged some solid bonds with many of your colleagues. You’re proud of that—but, you’re also unsure of whether or not that truly means you’re cut out for a step up the proverbial ladder.

Fortunately, there are a few other telltale signs you can keep your eye out for that will help you figure out whether or not you’re actually management material.

1. You’re Actually Excited About Answering Questions

Your colleague drops by your desk unexpectedly with a question about a sales report she’s compiling. How do you react? Do you see it as a hassle that’s only throwing a major wrench in your workday? Or, do you view it as an opportunity?

Here’s an important thing to remember: Being a manager means people are going to come to you with questions—and a lot of them.

If the thought of that alone makes you clench your jaw, you might not be ready to make the sacrifice of stepping away from your own to-do list in favor of guiding others.

But, if the chance to help other people learn and grow fills you with genuine enthusiasm? Well, a management role’s calling your name.

2. You’re Comfortable Giving Up a Little Control

I know exactly what you’re thinking: Wait, what? Being a manager means I get even more control, doesn’t it?

Yes, technically, you get the title that warrants you bossing everybody else around. However, managing a team actually involves releasing some control. You’ll have to trust that your direct reports are getting things done correctly—without being able to oversee every small detail.

Put simply, you’ll have all of the accountability for what is produced, without being able to have your finger in every single pie, so to speak. You’ll need to loosen the reins and empower others—even when they do things differently than you might have done them yourself.

3. You’re Eager to Be More Collaborative

Your team meeting is the highlight of your week, rather than the bane of your existence. You get genuinely excited to head into a brainstorming session, rather than looking at it as another logjam in your already packed calendar.

A management role comes with lots and lots of meetings. You’ll need to do regular sit-downs and check-ins with your team—both as a group and individually. You’ll have to put your heads together with other supervisors and department leaders.

In most cases, you’re going to spend a solid chunk of your workweek away from your desk. You won’t get a ton of time to put on your headphones and be heads down in your own work for hours at a time.

Sounds horrible? You might not only be better as an individual contributor—you’ll probably be happier too.

4. You’re Already Known as a Problem Solver

Like I mentioned earlier, managers need to act as resources for other people—particularly those who work directly under them. If you’re already looked at as that go-to guide within your company, that’s a solid indicator that you’re ready to take on some more formal leadership duties.


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