People working in “techie” IT jobs graduate from technical schools to become software developers, help desk technicians, web designers, data communication specialists or social media gurus. Yet, there comes a point where a person may be offered something more. Some people may instinctively jump at the chance to escape the help desk, but for others, the decision may be more complex. Technical skills may come easily to some and they feel comfortable in their own skin… yet, there is also that small desire to advance in status or make more money.
There are some downsides to making the shift to management. For one, there is a steep learning curve. Unless you took a substantial amount of management courses in college, you probably are unprepared for the responsibilities and cultural shift ahead. This is not to say you can’t learn to adjust, it’s just that you will be charting unfamiliar territory for a while.
Secondly, your technical skills will decline the less you use them – and the technical skills you currently have will most assuredly not be put to use in your new position. With any luck, you may be in a position where you hire people who do your old job or – better yet — train them. Yet, you may find yourself doing more paperwork and less hands-on work than you’d hoped.
Thirdly, the reality is that not everyone can make a successful leap from the technical world into management. Chances are, the position (you are being promoted to) has been vacated by someone who was placed there a year ago and failed miserably.
However, there are some people in techie IT jobs who can make the transition to management and find a rather fulfilling career in the years ahead. Great candidates for management IT jobs are individuals who are:
- Mature, responsible and eager to lead others
- Excited about the tasks and projects of the group that needs to be managed
- Adaptable to changing roles, expectations and tasks
- Extremely confident in their ability to succeed
- Willing to do whatever it takes to make more money.