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Help! I Don’t Want to Be a Manager

Topics: Career Advice

If you’ve been offered a promotion, your boss must think you’re a valuable asset and have been doing excellent work. For most of us, a promotion is cause for celebration – but what if it’s for a role you don’t actually want? Before panicking at the thought of being moved into a job that could make you miserable, think about productive ways to approach the situation. You can take on more responsibilities, and earn more money, without having to manage people.

As you move up the career ladder, managerial positions are often par for the course, but they’re not a good fit for everyone. The good news is, talking to your boss about the situation with tactful honesty will often help you get closer to the job description you actually want. Here are a few ways to approach that conversation.

don't want to be a manager

(Image Credit: Samuel Zeller/Unsplash)

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Emphasize Your Strengths

To keep any discussion positive, focus on what you want to do rather than what you don’t. Talk about how much you love contributing, whether that’s as an individual or as part of a larger team. Explain that you want to learn more about roles that will allow you to do that, without managing others. Don’t be afraid to speak frankly; it’s in your manager’s best interest to help you find a next position that is fulfilling and a good fit.

Research Alternative Options

Don’t go into the conversation unprepared. It’s not enough to say, “I don’t want to be a manager,” especially if you still want a promotion. Look at similar companies and the types of positions they offer that are just a step above your current job description. Present these as ways in which you can advance within the organization that will also benefit the employer, so that the solution is a win for everyone.

Keep an Open Mind

Be honest with yourself: what are the real reasons you don’t want to be a manager? Is it a fear of change? Are you concerned about no longer being part of the team, but leading it instead? It’s natural to be nervous about next steps, so make sure the reasons are related to your genuine career ambitions, as opposed to temporary apprehension.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you decided that management is not in your future? What made you come to that decision? How are you planning to advance your career while avoiding those types of positions? Talk to us via the comment section below, or join the conversation on Twitter.

Kirsty Wareing
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