Congratulations! That promotion you have been working so hard for has finally come to fruition. You’re a manager! So now what?
Depending on the type of company you work for, you may be whisked off into a management training program or, and all too commonly, you may be left to fend for yourself with the keys to your new office and a stack of files. In either scenario, the way in which you approach the next few will make or break you. This is your opportunity to build your brand and set the tone for what’s to come. What can you do?
Develop a plan. Write out a plan for at least your first few months. Who do you need to meet with? What do you need to learn about operations and the business? How will you connect with your new team?
Meet people. Make a list of the people you should meet with: company leadership, departmental managers, and senior people. If you have new direct reports, you should meet with each of them individually. Use these initial meetings to get to know people, and to help people get to know you. Don’t be all business, try to relate to each person you meet. Ask good questions and take notes.
Learn operations. No matter the business, the engine of every company is “operations”. If you’re not in this area – spend some time learning about how the company operates from those performing the work. Go out in the field, spend a day on the floor, or sit in on a development meeting.
Be humble. Don’t come in to your new role on a power trip. If you’ve been promoted over people who used to be your peers, treat those situations carefully and empathize with your new direct reports that having a new manager can cause anxiety or uncertainty.
Listen more than you speak. If you are new to a role, or especially if you are new to a company, take the time to learn how things are done before forming opinions. Ask questions of people to learn why things may be done certain ways before changing everyting. Creating change is great – just make sure you are not being hasty.
Rally your team. If your new management position comes with a team of employees, your early efforts to team build and connect will help alleviate skepticism about your management skills. Host a retreat and use this as an opportunity to develop an understanding of how the team functions. Share your vision and your leadership style. Top it off with a social event outside of the office.
Getting promoted in to your first management role is a wonderful opportunity. You can ensure your success by taking the time to build your own brand within your new team, and in your organization. Meet people, bond with your team, listen and learn – and you’ll be ready to make your mark in your new job.
Mike Spinale is a corporate Human Resources leader at a healthcare information technology company located outside of Boston, Massachusetts and is an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University. He has over eight years of experience in HR and management including career counseling, recruitment, staffing, employment branding, and talent management. Mike has dedicated his HR career to modern views on the field – HR is not about the personnel files – it’s about bringing on the best talent, ensuring they’re in the right seat, and keeping them motivated and growing in their careers. In addition, Mike is the author of the CareerSpin blog where he offers advice and opinion on job search, personal & employment branding, recruiting, and HR. Mike is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Babson College. He is also a board member of the Metro-North Regional Employment Board, a board which sets workforce development policy for Boston’s Metro-North region, and an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Northeast Human Resources Association.