By Liz Ryan
There is a supervisor job becoming available at my company in December.
Part of me wants to apply for it. The supervisors here have a lot more visibility into the company’s plans and a lot more input than the rest of us have. The job is in my own department, where I’m already very familiar with the work.
The promotion would come with a pay raise. I would be able to participate in management meetings and have a voice in process changes. I like the company well enough but working as a rank-and-file employee I am basically just one of the pack and no one special.
If I decide to apply for the supervisor job, what do I need to emphasize about my background? I haven’t been a supervisor before but at my last job, I did train some new employees and I was more or less the number two person to our manager. She likes me a lot. We keep in touch and I know she would say good things about me if asked.
It’s always good to step out of your comfort zone and I would never tell you to pass up an opportunity to grow professionally — or personally.
However, in your letter you listed the reasons you’re considering applying for the promotion. Not one of your reasons had anything to do with supervising people!
That makes me wonder whether you really want a leadership job, or whether you are more interested in growing your visibility at work and having more input into business decisions.
You can do both of those things without getting promoted. You can grow your influence at work from almost any position.
A lot of people prefer being an individual contributor. Everybody doesn’t have to be a manager, but if you want more influence and you don’t really care about managing people, then I encourage you to talk to your boss about that instead of pursuing the supervisor job.
You were a great resource and trusted adviser to your last boss. Maybe you could be the same kind of resource for your new boss, without managing people.
It would be a shame for you to step into a leadership job that revolves around coaching, encouraging and reinforcing your employees if none of those activities appeals to you.
If you’re interested in becoming a supervisor knowing how much time, energy and focus go into the “people” side of the job, then go for it!
Here are ten signs you’re ready for a leadership job — and ten signs you’re not.
Ten Signs You’re Ready For A Leadership Job
1. You’re ready for a leadership job if you are already liked and respected by your teammates. That means they know you are responsible, ethical and professional. Sometimes people are popular at work because they tell good jokes and goof off in amusing ways, but that doesn’t make them leadership material.
2. You’re ready for a leadership job if you’re interested in how the pieces of your organization fit together, and always asking questions about how the company works, how it makes money and how it competes in the marketplace.
3. You’re ready for a leadership job if you’ve already learned from the good and bad managers you’ve worked for. From the good managers, you learned what real leaders do — and the bad managers taught you what a real leader would never, ever do!
4. You’re ready for a leadership role if you’re game to learn much more about yourself and other people, and you’re willing to look in the mirror as you learn. Leadership is not easy and it’s not always fun. To be a leader, you have to be humble enough to learn from your employees. A leader who thinks they have all the answers will never gain the respect of their teammates — and without that, they’re toast.
5. You’re ready for a leadership job if you’re excited to forge stronger relationships with other departments in your company, and look for opportunities to collaborate with people throughout your firm.
6. You’re ready for a leadership job if people ask your advice all the time, because they know you understand how the department works (and you’re kind enough to share what you know).
7. You’re ready for a leadership job if customers or other people outside your department already assume you’re a manager, because you’re well-informed and helpful way beyond your own job description.
8. You’re ready for a leadership job if you have ideas for better ways to design work processes to save time, energy and money.
9. You’re ready for a leadership role if you like listening to your co-workers and helping them problem-solve. When they want to talk to you, you’re pleased to stop and chat. It’s not an annoyance. There is nothing worse than a supervisor who tells employees “I don’t have time for this!” when they have questions about the work.
10. You’re definitely leadership material if you see the potential in everyone, and get satisfaction out of encouraging people to step into their power.
Ten Signs You’re Not Ready For A Leadership Job
1. This is not a good time for you to pursue a leadership job if the main reason you want the promotion is because it pays more than your current job pays.
2. You’re not ready for a leadership job if you care about the job title, the private office or other perks more than you care about the role itself.
3. You’re not ready for a leadership role if you want the job primarily because it will get you off the phones or ease your workload.
4. You’re not ready to step into management if you want the job mainly so you can tell other people what to do.
5. This is not the right time for you to step into leadership if you already know which employees you’re going to discipline or terminate the minute you have the power to do it.
6. You aren’t ready for a leadership job if you feel that employees are generally lazy, sneaky or entitled.
7. A leadership job is not right for you if you have a hard time speaking up when you feel strongly about something — even if you know your company would benefit from your input.
8. Don’t pursue the supervisor job if you aren’t willing to be open and trusting with the employees on your team. If you would feel uncomfortable talking with them about their personal struggles at work — challenges with the workload, their schedule or other employees for instance — don’t step into a leadership role. A supervisor job is a coaching job. If you don’t want to coach people, it’s not the right job for you.
9. You are not cut out for a leadership role right now if you feel that the company’s management is clueless or incompetent. If you don’t respect them, don’t take a step up in their hierarchy.
10. Don’t take the leadership job because you think it looks easy. I can guarantee you that it won’t be easier than the job you have now. Supervisors lie awake at night worrying about issues their employees may not even know are brewing. They take the frustrations of their employees on their own shoulders — along with their customers,’ vendors’ and managers’ headaches.
Leadership isn’t easy but for people who enjoy coaching, training and relationship-building it is the only way to go!
If you decide to pursue the promotion, look at the department through your manager’s eyes. What are the biggest issues for your department to surmount in 2018 — whether operational, team-related or something else?
Those are the issues to talk about at your interview.
All the best to you and your team!
Read the full article here.
This content was originally published by Forbes Magazine. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By Forbes Magazine