Confessions of a Manager

With the buzz of Christmastime, I decided now was a great time to take a little vacation – a stay-cation I guess you could call it because I’m really not going anywhere. 2019 was so full of activity for me. I’ve traveled more this year than I ever have before. I’ve gone to some amazing places, and done things I never thought I’d be comfortable doing – enter public speaking. Being in management has afforded me some incredible things, but it’s also shed a light on something I didn’t realize I needed.

As a Mom, I hear all the time about how important it is to have some ‘me time’. But honey, let me tell you! If you are in management – even if you don’t have any children – you NEED some ‘me time’! My former manager is still a consultant within our department. When I was first promoted, he would tell me all the time, “Be careful what you ask for”. I didn’t really get what he meant until I was faced with my first personnel issue, then my first departmental conflict, then became acquainted with the ‘over-sharer’ in the group… the list goes on. Mind you, none of these things have anything at all to do with the technical work that my department is tasked to do. It’s all related to people and personalities. I had absolutely no idea how much of my job would be spent managing people rather than managing tasks.

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It’s incredibly rewarding to have this kind of role in other people’s lives. For those of us that work outside the home, we spend more time with the people that we work with than we do with our own family and friends. As a manager then, I realize that I have a real affect on other people’s lives. That can be a heavy load to carry sometimes, especially when you’re truly trying to care about the person and not just the work that they do. Many times, I’ve found myself staying late to get my own work done because earlier in the day, I wanted to step back and just be there for someone in the group as another person for someone to vent or cry to. Now, I’m not sharing this to get a pat on the back, but I think it’s important to shed some light on the faces of management that aren’t normally talked about.

This is gonna sound a little silly, but your managers are people too (makes you gag a little, right?). A manager is just another person with his/her own family to take care of and is another employee of the company with their own work to do. Only, part of their job is to make sure that the people within their department not only do their work correctly, but are properly taken care of and respected. A manager (a good one) should not be turning a blind eye to ANY problem in their department – technical, social or otherwise. They figure out what the root of the problems are and either implement fixes themselves, or bring in other people that can. As rewarding as all of this is, IT….IS….EXHAUSTING. There! I said it! Whew…ok…I’m good now, lol.

Now that I’ve gotten all of that out, I see that I probably don’t really have a good main point, haha! But if nothing else, please take away this. A manager is an employee just like any other employee, but with different responsibilities. More is expected of them because of the position that they hold and they are accountable for much more as well. I wasn’t blind to this before I began managing, but I was still shocked by everything it really entailed when I got there. And if you are a manager, you NEED some ‘me time’. You are pouring into other people’s lives at home AND at work. Do not be ashamed to take a few seconds to just close your eyes throughout the day or to take a vacation, even if you have nowhere to go.

This time of year is a wonderful time to reflect on all of your accomplishments and the failures too – it’s how we learn to do and be better. 2020 is coming fast. Rest. Recharge. Then come back, and hit the ground running next year. #ManagersMatter Blessings to you!