The more managerial your position the better, right? It means you have more responsibility, you’re the decision-maker and you get to tell people what to do instead of being told what to do.
Truthfully the benefits of being a manager don’t often outweigh the minuses. I personally experience the importance of managerial positions but in most cases I want as little of it as possible. Why? Because the more management I do, the less I feel like I’ve actually done anything at all.
I’ve worked as a project manager. I made lots of decisions, helped people do good work and facilitated positive and productive communication. But what about me? Often managers end up orchestrating other people doing the work they supposedly wanted to do themselves. And then what have we gained?
My position as project manager was very interesting and challenging but it didn’t feel very rewarding because at the end of a project everyone was (ideally) happy but I couldn’t actually pinpoint what I’d done.
Someone might say, yes, but managing others doing some of your work leaves you more time for your own stuff. Well, not really. Not sure if you noticed or yet faced facts about this but everything takes longer than you think (this subject deserves many of its own posts). This 100% includes managing people and projects. And it isn’t only about time – our head space is probably even more valuable than our time and having other workers on your mind makes it difficult to concentrate other stuff, things you supposedly have more time for.
All of this is not to mention one other very important thing. When I left my work as a dietitian, people asked why. I had many reasons but needed an “elevator pitch” answer. And the one I chose? I really don’t want to be telling people what to do all day.
I think there is one case when I’d be willing to manage others and that is the case of creating a project based on a vision of mine or one that really excites me and that I deeply believe in. Otherwise? I think I’d prefer to sit here and do my writing and leave the Little Miss Bossy job to someone else.