Stay Technical or Become a Manger: 10 Things to Consider

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Dear Eric, I was just offered a promotion from programmer to IT manager. It feels wonderful to be asked, but I’m not sure I want to take it. Any thoughts on what I should do?

Techies go to college and/or technical schools to become technical professionals. It may be as a software developer, help desk technician, social media guru, data communication specialist, website designer, or in other technical area. Then, one day, because of the great technical work you do, your boss says that he/she wants to talk to you in his/her office and says the following:

Hi (your name goes here), you have done great work over the past couple of years and have shown some great leadership qualities. I would like to promote you to a new job that:

• You didn’t go to school to learn
• Will cause your technical skills to decline
• Your current job skills are not really transferable to help you in this new position
• You have no training on many aspects of the job
• The job is open because about a year ago I promoted someone else into the job, with skills very similar to yours, who couldn’t do the job, and had to be fired.

Welcome to management!

All that said, being an IT Manager is a great job for the right person. I personally loved being in IT management roles. I found it to be creative, interesting, challenging, and rewarding. IT Management, however, is not for everyone. The question is, “is it for you?”

Here are ten things to consider when deciding to accept or pass on the opportunity to become an IT/Technical Manager:

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