Should I Become A Manager?

"I have no idea what I want to do after school, and everybody keeps telling me that I should become a manager. It doesn’t matter in what apparently. People just keep telling me that’s the way to make more money. I have no idea though if I have the right personality type for management. I’ve never actually done anything like that before. In class I have never been the project-leader type. I always just let somebody else do that. How do I know if management is right for me or not?"

asked by Joan from Columbia, SC

Management is a great occupation for a number of reasons, and well worth your consideration. For one, managers do make more money than nonmanagement personnel in the same industries. You would make more money managing a sales team than being a member of a sales team, for example. You would make more money managing an office than being a random member of the staff.

Management also is appealing because it has more upward mobility. Managers are controlling members of teams, and as they build up experience, they may take on more responsibility. So if you enjoy more control in your own life, management may appeal to you on that basis as well.

How do you decide if you are cut out to be a manager? One of the best ways to find out is to give it a try. In school, instead of taking a backseat, try actually taking the lead in your next project. Look for leadership opportunities and try them out.

A lot of people find they excel at something which they did not expect to. Pushing yourself beyond your usual comfort zone is one of the best ways to find out more about who you are.

Here are some further considerations. If you want to excel at management, you should not only be good at taking orders, but also be great at taking them. You need to be able to fit into the organization cohesively and provide a positive example to those who work under you.

Be willing to do extra work. The extra money associated with management does come with strings attached. You will not only be managing, but likely also filling the same functions as your other team members. Make sure you do the math and figure out what your hourly wage will be. Not all management positions are really highly paid when you do the math.

Be great at paperwork. You’ll have a lot more of it as a manager than you ever would in a non-managerial role.

Becoming a manager puts you in a position where you can potentially earn a lot more money, but it also entails extra responsibility. Some positions are very attractive, while others are not. Try doing some supervisory work in school to see if you enjoy management and if it suits you. If you do, you may find it a very rewarding career.

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