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Five Do’s and Don’ts of Your First Management Position

1You’ve mastered the art of meeting your deadlines, hitting your goals and accomplishing your deadlines. As a reward you’ve been promoted to a manager role. Or perhaps you eventually see yourself with that title change and increase in responsibility. Making the move from contributor to manager can be a challenging task. Stick to a few simple dos and don’ts to be the best manager you can be.


Change your focus from “mine” to “ours”

As a contributor, your time was spent entirely focused on your own priorities, goals and deadlines. However, as a manager it is essential to look at your goals as part of the team’s goals. When you’re too focused on your own work and not on the team’s work, it can make you difficult to approach.

Present a problem and a possible solution

When you’re good at your job, it’s easy to spot problems as they arise. You can see that speed bump two miles down the road. However, as a manager it’s important to always provide a solution to your problem. It is now your job to be a positive and proactive influence for your team and your organization as a whole. By being a solution-generating employee you increase your value to the organization.

Find ways to informally mentor others

If you haven’t been named a manager, look around you. Chances are there are plenty of people whom you could give a helping hand or share your expertise. Perhaps your organization has some interns. Try taking one of them under your wing, and help guide them in their work. You’ll gain attention and notice by demonstrating your leadership skills above and beyond your job description.


Assign blame

We’ve all experienced the person who throws us under the bus, and it’s awful. As a manager accountability is key. If your team fails, you have failed. Don’t waste time trying to point fingers or deflect blame. Instead, try to take responsibility and work with your team members to address the situation and create a plan for how you would alter behavior moving forward.

Forget the big picture

Your team’s priorities are important. Deadlines should be met. Task lists should be completed. However, try not to lose your vision of the big picture. Why does your team have these tasks assigned to them? What is their impact? What is the value to the business? If you answer these questions every day, you’ll not only ensure that you always understand your larger organization’s priorities, but you’ll also ensure that your team sees and understands its daily impact against those priorities.

Stick to a few simple dos and don’ts to be the best manager you can be.