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Re: From technical to management position
Old 07-13-2006, 09:27 PM   #21
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Re: From technical to management position

oooh! - You've fired the techies? - You mean you did upper Management's dirty work for them. - I've never worked at a company where HR made hiring and firing decisions of Technical Management.
Well, actually, Officially:

HR Professionals: "Partner and provide professional guidance to Managers".

HR Professionals also sit-in during termination discussions 'to protect the employees rights, blah blah blah.

In reallity, however, here's what happens:

Day 1 - Manager loves employee

Day 2 - Manager gets pissed off at employee and decides to fire the person.

Afternoon of day 2 - HR says no way, you don't have enough documentation.

Next several weeks, sometimes months: Manager wants to fire, and HR makes them write reasons and specifics on how the employee 'failed to meet expectations' and 'consequences should the behavior continue'. (HR loves red tape and is sometimes dubbed as the employee nazi because of this)

100 years later -HR has enough documentation; Manager sets up a meeting where he can finally release the anger, frustration, power he has over his lazy good for nothing employee.

And then, after all that, at the termination meeting, where the HR professional sits next to the employee, the manager across the desk, the manager has his opportunity to FIRE the techie he's been trying to get rid of for years...he's practice what to say, over and over, and whe he opens his mouth, he freezes. He realizes that firing a person isn't the same as sunsetting, migrating, upgrading technologies...that's when, behind closed doors, the employee nazi steps up, takes the proverbial axe and strikes!


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Re: From technical to management position
Old 07-13-2006, 11:11 PM   #22
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Re: From technical to management position

Aaron, I switched from technical financial work (tax / audit), to management. Glad I did, worked for me and my family.

The fact that you are exploring this option leads me to believe you should at least give it a try. You can go back, one way or another, as long as you keep your tech skills up reasonably well in the interim.

Oddly enough, it is easier to find good technical people than it is to find good managers. As noted above, you can refine management skills, and they can provide you with more options in your career ... different size companies, new industries, etc. ... even an opportunity someday to have your own business. After all, when you become part of management, you are looking at a much broader cross section of a company.

It can be aggravating, but it can also be very satisfying. Listen to your gut, but don't pass it up for the wrong reasons. Again ... this is not a light switch ... you can go back to the techie focus within a reasonable period of time, if you decide management just isn't your bag. And, sharp employers see this from time to time, and aren't surprised ... I've had guys / gals come to me for positions "lower" than their resume. They got burned out, and just don't want the brain damage anymore ... just wanted a good, basic tech / staff job, where they could keep their head down, do the work, participate on a team, have a steady paycheck, and ride off into the sunset. Cool with me. You'll have options. And, with some management time under your belt, you'll be an even better technical person.

Best of luck with your decision, and your career.

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Re: From technical to management position
Old 07-16-2006, 05:55 AM   #23
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Re: From technical to management position

I went through the transition from technical to management in one of my early careers.* While I was good at both, the stress on me was far greater as a manager.* In later careers, I made a determined effort to resist jumping into management beginning with the hiring interview.* While the money may not have been as good, it is surprising how much a good "old" technical person can get paid (often more than his new managers).* I never regretted my decisions (opportunities were offered every few years).*
My wife was pretty much forced into the opposite route (manage or risk lack of employment).* *While she excelled in new job, the toll it took on her was enormous . . . which made her ER much sweeter than mine.* Luckly she didn't make the transition till the last 8 years of her career.* Without ER as a carrot, I don't think she could have made the last 4 years.* * * *
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Re: From technical to management position
Old 07-16-2006, 06:57 PM   #24
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Re: From technical to management position

I think all the good advice has already been given.* That being said, I am a civil engineer who became a partner in the consulting firm where I work at the relatively young age of 30 (same as you).* Looking back over the last seven years, I can honestly say I was not quite ready to become an owner.* My technical and client relation abilities were adequate; however, my interpersonal skills with other employees needed work.* As an engineer, when an employee came to me with a problem with another employee, I would try to solve the problem.* Now I know that sometimes the employee just wants you to "listen empathetically" (which I still sometimes struggle with).* Financially, it has been a no-brainer.* I now hope to retire at age 52 (instead of my late 50s or early 60s).* All things considered, I do not regret "getting into management", but it is a personal choice.* My best advice is to follow your gut instinct. * *
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Re: From technical to management position
Old 07-16-2006, 08:17 PM   #25
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Re: From technical to management position

Originally Posted by chrisdut
my interpersonal skills with other employees needed work.* *
I've never had any interpersonal skills, but I always found myself booted into management gigs even when I strongly resisted.* *(I had a boss once who offered me a management gig, and when I told him "no, thanks," he told me to start the next day.* *He was a damn good manager, too.)

IMHO, interpersonal skills are optional for a technical manager unless you have a really large org to manage.* *Even in the case of the large org, I found that I could hire other managers who had better interpersonal skills than I did, and I would let them deal with the motivational and conflict resolution crap.*

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