As you move down your own career path, you'll be offered promotions to different types of jobs. Likely if you work in a field long enough, you may be offered a management position. But are you cut out for it? These questions will help you decide whether you should and want to be a manager.
Do you like leading? Management is about leading others. That means understanding how others work and inspiring them to do their best. It means working out schedules, tracking progress, and handling personality conflicts. It means finding out what motivates people on your team and what sets them back. If the idea of standing in front of your team and giving direction gives you the heebie-jeebies, management may not be a good fit.
In general, you need confidence to be a leader, as well as good organizational skills to be a solid manager.
What type of manager would you be? We've all had the overbearing bosses. The leave-you-alone ones. The ones that stand over your shoulder while you work. What type of manager would you be? Look at the characteristics of different types of managers, and think about how that management style would be received by your team.
For example, if you can't help but have your hands in everything, but you work on a team of very independent workers, you coming in as an over-the-shoulder manager might do more harm than good. It could upset the ecosystem of the team, and not get you any brownie points either. If your style of management doesn't fit the environment, you might want to pass at the opportunity.
Will managing take you away from what you love doing? If you're in sales and your the face-to-face time with customers is your passion, you may find the sales manager role will take you out of the field interacting where you do best. Managers tend to oversee all projects in a department and may only be generally involved in them. If becoming a manager takes you away from the things you really love doing at your job, you might end up unhappy.
How organized are you? Taking a management position means you are ultimately responsible for your team meeting deadlines and completing assigned tasks. If you're not good at juggling multiple projects or keeping up with other people's work, this might prove challenging. But if you have systems and processes in place to make your life easier, you'll likely find it a breeze to step into command control.
Are you a problem solver? In a sense, that's what a manager needs to be: someone who fixes things. If people constantly come to you for advice on their problems, you might find management a good fit. But if you're stumped for ways out of an issue, having a team rely on you for answers might be more pressure than you're looking for.
Do you care about people? A manager is a people's person. She cares about the well-being and professional development of each of her staff, and does whatever it takes to help them succeed. If that doesn't describe you, consider how you would feel being in a role that so many people turn to, and decide whether you would be comfortable taking on that responsibility.
Don't beat yourself up about turning down a management position. It's not for everyone. Consider whether it's a role you'd enjoy taking on before making the call.
Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs.com, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.