Lessons and Advice From One Young Manager to Another

At Kinetix, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to best set up our managers of people for success. We rely on our managers to lead our recruiting teams and other departments crucial to our success as a business. Within that framework, we have quite a few young managers on our team, myself included. Having only managed employees for a little over a year, I know firsthand the highs and lows of managing an individual contributor and the responsibilities that go along with it.

Throughout my year as a first-time manager, I’ve learned a lot of lessons and picked up advice I’d like to share with all the other young managers finding their way through the corporate world. Before jumping into some tips on how to succeed as a young manager, I’m going to share a quote on managing from Michael Scott on “The Office” that I find humorous but also find it to be something that can teach us a thing or two about being a good manager.

“I swore to myself that if I ever got to walk around the room as manager, people would laugh when they saw me coming, and would applaud as I walked away.”

To me, the above quote is one of the more striking things you could say about managing because it reinforces the fact that we as managers seek to not only receive recognition and admiration from our employees but also want to inspire them to do great work. With that in mind, let‚Äôs jump into some lessons I‚Äôve learned over the past year that I can share with other young or first-time managers.

  1. Be An Expert. Your direct reports will be coming to you with questions about the business, projects, and other topics of discussion around the office. You’re going to be expected to provide answers as best you can. Make sure you’re up-to-date on all the latest happenings within the department or with the business so you can provide clear guidance to your employee or team. When you assign a project or send down a directive from leadership, you can help your team be successful by having all the facts and communicating those back in a concise and helpful way.
  2. Don’t Quit Your Day Job. Before you jumped into a management role, you were most likely a standout individual contributor. After gaining a direct report, your load may be lightened a little but don’t brush aside your core duties as you become more involved in your team’s day-to-day activities. This was a lesson I learned the hard way the first few months I was a manager. I was so focused on helping my direct report and making sure their work was up to par that I struggled to keep up with my daily responsibilities. After taking a step back and reassessing my priorities, I was able to let my team run with their duties while I got back on track.
  3. Ask For Help. Let‚Äôs face it. You may be a rockstar employee who crushed it in every aspect of your role before becoming a manager. But even the best contributors need help when jumping into a leadership role for the first time. Find a mentor in your organization and seek them out for advice. Fortunately, at Kinetix, I‚Äôm surrounded by some of the best minds in our business and have learned a great deal over the last year. Don‚Äôt be afraid to raise your hand when you get stuck or run into a problem. Asking for help isn‚Äôt a sign of weakness, it‚Äôs the sign of a great manager.

Whether you‚Äôre in your first month as a new manager or a couple of years into the gig, the advice above can help you connect with your team while ensuring they‚Äôre crushing it on a daily basis. Even though you‚Äôre new to management or early in your career, you can make sure you‚Äôre set up for success for years to come by putting a little extra effort into your role as a manager.


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