While browsing my stats, I often see search terms like “I hate my employees” “I hate being boss” and “I hate being manager.” And it makes me realize just how many people out there – maybe even your own boss – really hate managing people and don’t even want to be a boss!
Here’s some of what what Angela shared with us in her comment:
…the relentless hounding by 50 staff to fix endless problems and mistakes, dealing with staff shortages with ever increasing targets, performance managing lazy or incompetent people (hired inappropriately as a “quick-fix” to the staff shortages), training up staff for other sites or training those who just never stayed (there is a 40% drop-off rate in the first 12 months!)
So did even more staff make being a boss better for Angela?
Of course not. Here’s more of what she shared with us:
…After all that, when the stress was more manageable, I discovered that I could do the job, but I just didn’t want to. Everyone was shocked when I asked to be demoted and said they thought I had been doing a great job – but at what price? I don’t want this experience to make me feel incapable of taking responsibility again, I hope that it was just this particular job. But the day I resigned from that position was the happiest day I’ve had for a long time.
Congratulations to Angela on making a smart move. If it makes you happier, taking a demotion the way Angela did (or not accepting the promotion to begin with) makes total sense. We not only have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em…we have to know who we are and who we aren’t. While career-wise being a boss is considered something good to aim for…some of us simply don’t enjoy being boss. And if that’s really the case, it’s a good thing to discover that about ourselves.
Being the boss is not the same in all circumstances
Then again…although there are folks who truly don’t enjoy any part of managing others, for some of us it’s about finding the right situation. For those who share Angela’s feelings, maybe having a smaller staff in an organization that values its people more or where we have more control over our circumstances could also be an answer. Or maybe if the work is something we have passion for, the downside of being a manager doesn’t feel quite so down. Or maybe the answer is project-based work where at most you have a few colleagues to manage.
But not everyone has to be the big boss to be successful in their careers. There are also specialized non-managerial career paths that can provide ample personal satisfaction AND money. It’s one of the reasons I consult.
So what about you? Do you enjoy being a boss? Have any of you found ways to get around your dislike of managing people? Any tips for folks in Angela’s shoes?