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.
Everybody within your company—whether it’s a peer or a leader—knows that they can bring you a problem or a challenge, and you’ll roll up your sleeves and find a way to solve it. You’re actually motivated by identifying a way around those sticky situations.
When that’s the case, rest assured, you aren’t just ready to be a good manager—you’re ready to be a great one.
5. You’re Invested in Other People’s Success as Much as Your Own
If one of your team members fails, you’ve failed. And, if one of your team members succeeds, you succeed.
It’s the most effective leaders who recognize that deceptively simple fact. They’re highly invested in the growth and development of their direct reports—oftentimes, they prioritize that ahead of anything else (including their own advancement).
Ask yourself: How do you feel when somebody in your company achieves a major win? Are you filled with jealousy, or are you the one spearheading the celebration? Falling into that second category is a pretty reliable sign that you’re a good fit for some leadership responsibilities.
You don’t want to become a manager for the sake of the title or the money (although, let’s face it—those are definitely nice perks). If you’re going to step up and accept a larger role within your company, you want to feel at least somewhat confident that you’ll do a good job with it.
It can be challenging to tell whether or not you’re truly ready to do that. But, keeping your eyes peeled for these five signs will help you determine if you’re truly ready to take on that more demanding position.
Photo of two people working courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance life. In addition to The Muse, she's a contributor all over the web and dishes out research-backed advice for places like Atlassian, Trello, Toggl, Wrike, The Everygirl, FlexJobs, and more. She's also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers (and lives!) they love. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her two rescue mutts or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author