I work in a small IT department in a non tech company. My manager recently quit and they are looking for a replacement. I guess since I'm one of those "rare" developers with people skills, the director is encouraging me to apply
Part of me wants to apply but another part of me says no. The pay and ability to make a difference sound intriguing, and I'm a little burnt out on programming after 12 years, but there are downsides too it seems. I'd be managing someone else who is very interested in the position and it could be awkward since he's a friend and currently higher on the ladder than me (along with a few others).
Has anyone else been in a similar position? Is anyone in management and happier or has anyone taken a management job and wished you didn't? Any feedback would be appreciated!
@Pratik: When managers worked for ex-employees in the companies that you worked for, did they give them any trouble?
EDIT: Thanks everyone for your answers.
While this seems like it might be a good opportunity, there are a few things that make me uncomfortable about this.
1) I would be responsible for EVERYTHING instead of what I am asked to do. The department is still reeling after several rounds of lay offs...overstressed and on the verge of burnout. I do have a pretty good relationship with everyone on the team....but I wonder if it wouldn't change if I took this job.
2) A couple of other co-workers despise the director for whatever reason. He might try to get me to do his dirty work and punish them if they butt heads.
3) Managing people who are older than me which doesn't seem to be an issue based on Codemwnci's post.
4) It's a small department and I really don't think a full time manager is needed. IMO we don't need someone to spend 50% of their time ordering people around (because everyone knows what they have to do) and 50% of the time doing nothing. The dept need more of a player-coach IMO. I think it would actually help the team because they would have another person to do support work full time (instead of having a support person write code like I'm doing now) if that makes any sense.
It is difficult but what I'm doing now is also difficult (development + support work)
I'd just hate to see them bring in someone from the outside that doesn't know what they're doing or ruins the team we have now which is pretty solid.
Your relationship with the rest of the team will change. You are now the boss rather than a mate. You will need to tell people what to do and they should do it. Some will be OK with the change, but others might resent that you've been promoted rather than them.
That could be a problem since I'm friends with most of them now.
In this case allocate some of the "easy" project tasks to yourself. These should be non-critical items that you can pick up and drop at a moment's notice. This allows you to help on the project, keep up with the code base but not get distracted from the managerial activities. Another thing you can do is field all the bug reports that come in. Check them out to make sure that they are real bugs and, if it's an easy edit, fix it straight away. Larger problems can then get scheduled in to the rest of the team's activities. This stops the team getting distracted and also shows the client/upper management that things do get fixed.
Sounds like a good strategy...
To me it comes down to which day-to-day activities you enjoy. Do you like coaching, meeting with people, project management, building rapport, and solving people problems? Or do you need lots of alone time, find meetings draining, dislike drama, and like intellectual/technical problems?
I can do both. The main thing for me is work-life balance. My old boss had work-life balance but only because he had dedicated employees below him that knew what they were doing, worked the extra hours, and made his job easy. Of course if someone else took over and the department was mismanaged, work-life balance for everyone could be out the window.
It's a corporate environment and I have no control in how many people we have or job description of each position.
I would hope that my fellow teammates would want me to succeed but I'm not sure. I made friends with some of them and surely this would change our relationship. But I'm not sure the other candidates would be able to run the dept and keep things running smoothly...although I could be wrong.