What point in your career did you get into management?

YuckTheFankeesYuckTheFankees Member Posts: 1,281 ■■■■■□□□□□
As of right now, I like the technical side of I.T. and never really thought of going into management but the other day my gf's father asked when I thought a good time was to get into management..and I really didn't have an answer.

So I was just wondering; what's your thoughts on staying on the technical side vs. management, what point in your career did you start thinking about management positions? what type of experience did you have at that point?

Comments

  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    So I was just wondering; what's your thoughts on staying on the technical side vs. management

    There comes a point in one's career where one has to evaluate what his/her needs are. Some folks want to get into management, others are happy where they are. This is an individual choice that one makes and what might work for me, your gf's dad, the CEO, a janitor, or circus clown, might not work for you. Much of it is a desire AND ability to manage and lead...if one lacks either (or both), then management is not in the cards. There is no shame in not being management; some folks are quite happy being in the technical side of the house and as I've always said...nothing wrong with that.



    what point in your career did you start thinking about management positions?
    Two years ago. Actually a little over two years ago...probably around the beginning of 2010. I hated the fact that I lacked a degree and yet I knew just as much as folks I've seen in management. So I did much soul searching and decided to map out a personal plan. I thought a BS would do it for me, but now I am gunning for an MBA so that I can get "a seat at the table." Business speak/jargon is spoken a lot by managers. They pick up a copy of Harvard Business Review and swear they are experts....but much of the foundation for that comes with an MBA education. In any event, I'm on a road...and I have no doubt I will get there...it's just a matter of when.
    what type of experience did you have at that point?

    I have 15 years in IT and 9 years being an ERP with Project Management mixed in...which is why I want a PMP as soon as possible. I have a good 20-30 years left in me, and I don't want to retire being in a position I am now....otherwise I would feel I just wasted/squandered opportunities (which is debatable if I had....but that's neither here nor there.) That and a MS or MBA will pretty much seal the deal for me, IMO.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    As of right now, I like the technical side of I.T. and never really thought of going into management but the other day my gf's father asked when I thought a good time was to get into management..and I really didn't have an answer.

    "If I ever got bored of learning all the amazing new technologies I work with, and interacting with my customers, and decided politics and Powerpoint were more interesting." :p

    A misconception sometimes carries over from other businesses, that managers make all the decisions, and make more money. That's not how it works when the employees are respected professionals. Consider a non-doctor managing a group of doctors. The manager will make decisions regarding resources and staffing, but the doctors make any/all medical decisions, and are typically paid at a higher rate. That's what I and my closest colleagues have experienced in all but the first few years of our careers. Granted, directors and above do make more. VPs are incredibly compensated. And you rarely become an executive by just doing technical work!

    I've turned it down when it was offered. I know several colleagues who accepted it, and regretted it. I also know a couple who got to the director level and found it lucrative and rewarding.

    Do what you love and you'll never go wrong.
  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    As of right now, I like the technical side of I.T. and never really thought of going into management but the other day my gf's father asked when I thought a good time was to get into management..and I really didn't have an answer.

    So I was just wondering; what's your thoughts on staying on the technical side vs. management, what point in your career did you start thinking about management positions? what type of experience did you have at that point?

    I had technical management some years ago when I was still in the military. One thing about leadership and management it has to be something you want. If your heart is not into it you will fail miserably. Now in the military management is a little differnet but some key aspects I learned.


    1. Your team is only as good as you are
    2. You job is not about you, its about the company
    3. Its a lonely world as you move up.

    I would check out a supervisory role if your interested in management. That way if you decide its not for you, its not as much backlash and you can move into another role much easier. Usually managers have to move on if they find out its not for them.

    I've been thinking about leadership again and I have moved into a team lead role. I get to make choices on whats purchased, and I can assign out task and work with the other leadership to have input in the direction where going in. Try it out.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    erpadmin wrote: »
    I have a good 20-30 years left in me, and I don't want to retire being in a position I am now....otherwise I would feel I just wasted/squandered opportunities

    I can respect that. I just don't feel I've completed my technical arc, and don't want to squander my opportunities to do so! But I won't lock myself in my room to do it, because I'd be even more upset, if I squandered my opportunities to spend time with the family who loves me.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    So I was just wondering; what's your thoughts on staying on the technical side vs. management
    I suspect its a very individual choice. I personally am trying to get away from staff management. I never really enjoyed it. Instead I prefer management roles which are purely leadership or governance in nature with just a small team. That's what I do today and I find it enjoyable. I did do some management consulting in early 2003 as well but I found it too stressfull to constantly need to find new engagements.
    what point in your career did you start thinking about management positions?
    To be honest, it was always something that I kinda figured would come my way. My personality tended to make me stand out.
    what type of experience did you have at that point?
    I currently have about 23 years of IT experience. The last 18-19 years in management roles. Prior to that I had about 3 years of experience as a software engineer leading development projects before than. And I spend my first year in IT doing presales tech support.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    @NetworkVeteran, if you're still in your twenties, you still have a lot of tech left in you. My thing is, my professional experience notwithstanding, my hobby was PCs and anything technical (when I was doing it, I wasn't doing it because I wanted an IT career; PC building was fun for me). I kinda feel like I reached my peak with it. When my hobby became a job (and then a career) I just felt like I need to do something more. You on the other hand seem like you're heading into the deep networking...whatever you got to do to stay motivated, keep that up. Everything else will follow.
  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I took a supervisory role. It's more of a combo of supervisory and the regular stuff I did before. Doesn't pay enough for the duties that I have to deal with on a regular basis. So I spend a portion of my day running reports and assisting with the processing of time approval for billing purposes. It affords me a glimpse into what the higher ups do and when the higher ups are out of the office (regularly) i'm the one in charge, which is a little odd to me. Hope to move out of the role soon actually, not really my thing, but I took it for the experience it afforded.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,359 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I took a lead engineer position about a year ago (after about 6 yrs in IT).

    It's technically titled a manager position, but I'd say I do about 85% technical work, and a 15% mix on the business/managerial side. It's nice, because I am getting a lot of exposure to a wide variety of projects, and get to see things from both a technical and managerial point of view.

    I do not think I would want to move up into a management-only type position (basically that's my next step if I stay where I'm at) though. I really love the group of guys I work with, but the increase in pay I get for being the lead is not worth all the responsibility.
  • MiikeBMiikeB Member Posts: 301
    Im hoping to move in to management when I get back from this job in Afghanistan. I should have my MBA by then.

    I no longer had the passion for IT I had before. I am still very good at it and I keep getting new certifications and learning new technologies, but that is only because a) it comes very naturally to me and b) it pays really well.

    When I get home I hope to get a management level job and see how I enjoy that, it will also keep me from having to constantly worry about updating certifications etc. I also enjoy solving problems more than I enjoy implementing solutions.

    Honestly at this point I am just in this for the money. I hope by the time I am thirty (5ish years) to own 3-4 rental properties and be managing 2-3 dog daycares and probably have a small, responsible, ethical german shepherd and belgian malinois breeding program. Pretty unusual goals for a guy with his MCITP:EA and studying for a CISSP, I know.
    Graduated - WGU BS IT December 2011
    Currently Enrolled - WGU MBA IT Start: Nov 1 2012, On term break, restarting July 1.
    QRT2, MGT2, JDT2, SAT2, JET2, JJT2, JFT2, JGT2, JHT2, MMT2, HNT2
    Future Plans - Davenport MS IA, CISSP, VCP5, CCNA, ITIL
    Currently Studying - VCP5, CCNA
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    erpadmin wrote: »
    @NetworkVeteran, if you're still in your twenties, you still have a lot of tech left in you.
    I'm afraid that boat sailed, some time ago. :p
    erpadmin wrote: »
    You on the other hand seem like you're heading into the deep networking...whatever you got to do to stay motivated, keep that up. Everything else will follow.
    I agree. I see many people on the road to succeeding here along completely different paths. A passion for what you're doing, a desire to do it well, helps everywhere.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    MiikeB wrote: »
    Pretty unusual goals for a guy with his MCITP:EA and studying for a CISSP, I know.
    Actually, I think its brilliant. I am a strong believer in diversification. Good luck with the dogsitting idea.

    btw - I only have one rental property but I'm always on the lookout for other business ideas.
  • HLRSHLRS Banned Posts: 142
  • petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510
    About management. . . just realize it's not all sitting around making decisions and pounding out missives. You will be dealing with real people, with real issues, who bring more to the table (both good and bad) than you may have ever even remotely realized before.

    Yes, you deal with people issues in technical IT, but not to the same extent. On the management side, you actually end up with more of those issues-- and when you least expect it you will end up taking ownership of some (or all) of those issues.
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,649 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have been considering management for quite some time. I think I started charting my course early on in my undergrad work thinking that I would pursue an MBA in the future. A few years ago, at my last job, I figured I was at the point to attempt the switch. I had led most of the IT initiatives and influenced the IT manager I was under despite him being weak-kneed. They let him go after giving him an impossible task, and despite it being a success, they let him go and blamed it on a technicality. I applied for the job and I was turned down. Ultimately, it came down to my age. The CFO, to whom I would have been reporting, was inquiring about my age and I tried to skirt around it because it bit me the rear my in my last job (the day my boss found out my age he stopped respecting my opinion and started "lording" his vast years of experience over me); he said he would just go look it up in my personnel file. Anyhow, they hired someone outside to handle the job and she was much more capable than my previous boss; I think we were at odds early on, but things smoothed out and I thought it would be a good time to learn from her and prepare myself. She ended up leaving after about a year and I decided I was going to give it another shot. Again, it didn't happen. In all actuality, it was a good thing. That CFO churned through 3 controllers and 3 IT managers while I was there... and 2 of the controllers and the last IT manager were personal friends of his. He was essentially a shark... he was happy to take credit for their accomplishments, but if the stinky stuff started heading downhill, he was quick to throw them under the bus.

    Now, I am finishing up my first graduate degree and leading multi-million dollar projects for large enterprise level organizations related to security and other areas that require regulatory compliance. I am making better money than I would have in that position and I have far superior benefits (worth about $20k more, in total). Now, I KNOW that I am ready and I am just finishing up the last pieces of the puzzle prior to making the transition. I am eligible for a promotion at my next cycle that will put me into lower management. If I don't get it, I will likely setup a timeline for myself to move on to another company when the current contract expires. I actually passed up a job as key personnel on another contract because the firm I would have been working for just didn't seem to offer the best long-term options for me.

    Now, if I can just get my wife working again, we will be able to buy our land and pay it down long ahead of retirement.
    AZ-204 [ ] AZ-400 [X] AZ-500
    2020 Goals: Azure Developer Associate, Azure DevOps Expert, Azure Security Associate
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @powerfool - I am glad that your early experience didnt turn you off to management. My first reaction when I read for post was "oh wow" - I wouldnt believe that someone who is a cfo would lack basic understanding of age discrimination. Good for you to keep moving towards your goal.
    @petedude - very true points. What a lot ofpeople dont realize is that at certain management levels, theres a lot of real work which sometimes is not apparent. Some of it does look like political manuvearing butit really depends on underlying incentivrs.
    @HLRS - huh?
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    Absolutely. CIO is the light at the end of my long, dark, dark tunnel. After I finish chasing certs over the next 15 years or so I imagine I'll get a fancy office and wear power suits. Maybe even some hair gel. Okay, no hair gel, but definitely power suits. See Patrick Bateman in American Psycho for reference.
    Certification To-Do: CEH [ ], CHFI [ ], NCSA [ ], E10-001 [ ], 70-413 [ ], 70-414 [ ]
    WGU MSISA
    Start Date: 10/01/2014 | Complete Date: ASAP
    All Courses: LOT2, LYT2 , UVC2, ORA1, VUT2, VLT2 , FNV2 , TFT2 , JIT2 , FMV2, FXT2 , LQT2
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    tprice5 wrote: »
    CIO is the light at the end of my long, dark, dark tunnel. After I finish chasing certs over the next 15 years or so I imagine I'll get a fancy office and wear power suits.

    If that's really, really, really what you want to do, then you need to start looking at some business programs to augment your CS (and cert) background. You will probably see management without it, and you may gain business experience like how to prepare budgets, etc., but I can tell you that it will be a lot easier for you if you have a Business background.

    You have only to look to the dot-com bubble to know what I mean. A lot of smart people made some really messed up decisions because, at that time, all people focused on was technology and how this new, awesome thing called the Internet was going to be the way of the future. While they were right, the implementation on a lot of those companies went sour and companies that were popular during this time no longer exist.

    If you were to incorporate an MBA into your plan...that tunnel doesn't have to be so long and not terribly dark. This is just my opinion; do with it as you will.
  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Member Posts: 968
    ...So I was just wondering; what's your thoughts on staying on the technical side vs. management?

    I'm actually quite lucky, even though I'm an IT manager - 50% of my role is the typical management job (financial/budget management, people management, project management, policy writing, etc), the other 50% of my role is hands on technical.

    However for my next role, I'm not sure - I either have to find a larger organisation with a similar job role (50/50), or make that decision: increase in management (a hands off Manager/director heading towards something like the CIO) or concentrated and develop my technical skills further (eg become an IT Architect). While both will have some cross over, I'm not sure which area to turn to.
    ...what point in your career did you start thinking about management positions?

    I'm not sure really, possible had some thoughts even before I entered IT. However I guess it didn't actually become a solid idea until I became a Senior IT Tech.
    ...what type of experience did you have at that point?

    Experience, a whole range - technical and non-technical. For example, customer service skills, "supervising skills", networking, servers, desktops, thin clients, cabling, etc., etc., etc...

    I working up from a technican's roles (which incoporated field service, helpdesk and workshop), to senior tech (working inhouse and providing support to organisations that hired/subcontracted IT staff in) and finally to IT manager.

    One thing to note, just because someone has the experience technically, doesn't automatically mean that person will be a good manager.
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Member Posts: 514
    Absolutely Ninja, management requires a completely different skill set than being a great technical mind. People think management is just a natural evolution you move to after climbing the technical ranks- which can happen, but it really requires treating it like any other skill. You need to read about it, come up with your management style, and be consistent with it. Not everyone has been a manager but everyone has been managed. We all know what it is like to work under great managers and others who had no business doing it.
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
Sign In or Register to comment.