Thursday, February 14, 2008

The joys of being a manager

Sorry that I've been a little slack recently with writing. Work has been picking up and I'm feeling so overwhelmed with all the new stuff and I'm almost done with my third week so I'm not going to be able to say "I'm new and don't know" for much longer.

My current project is going okay and the two guys who work for me are nice enough, but one doesn't have much of a clue, but is very good about being consistent, and the other is smart but a spolit little arrogant Emo kid. I can't be much older than him, but he acts so immature. The funny thing is that he's got no clue what's wrong and too big of blinders to really listen. He has this problem with not bothering to show up to work until 1 and then immediately going to lunch. We have new core hours where people have to be at work from 11 to 3. Lunch goes in the middle there at some point (usually). He said that he doesn't think that it will work with his schedule because he likes to stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning! I was just so galled. Who says that?

Yesterday he managed to make it in at 11:20. It's not perfect, but it's a huge improvement so I was pretty happy. He only works 4 days a week. I like helping people grow so hopefully I can work with him and help him develop into a great programmer. He's a nice enough kid and his heart is in the right place.

Some people ask me how to get into management, because this is a great way to increase your pay rate and more money is a great way to get on track financially. I think that it's both a little bit of luck and a little bit of skill. But what is luck but opportunity meeting preparedness? (I'm not sure who said that initially)

Just like most things, the only way to get a job doing it is to have experience. But, you don't have to have experience because of your job title, but only because of what you have actually accomplished. Take initiative at your current job to pick up extra work a little outside of your job description, but go out of your way to make your boss look good (you don't want to worry your boss that you will take their job). Approch your job and your boss like they are your client. I call this a "service-oriented attitude". Honestly, everyone down the line is there to make the person-above-them's life easier and to make them look good. That's the whole reason you have a job--to help your boss meet his goals so he can help his boss meet her's. Go out of your way to do that and get them what they need no matter how you feel about them personally.

Promotion from within as a direct result of hard work is nice, but getting management-like experience by stepping up to the plate and taking work off your boss's shoulders and then using that to get a better job is always a great idea, too. Google for professional organizations in your career field or one like it (or that you would like to go into). Make business cards for yourself if you don't have any at work so that you can hand them out to new people that you meet. You can buy printable business cards pretty much anywhere that you can buy computer paper. Get the clean line type, not the perforated ones. It's a little bit of an investment, but not too bad and will pay off greatly in the end.


SavingDiva said...

Wow! I don't know what I would do if one of my employees told me that they wouldn't be able to make it in by 11! I thought I worked in a laid back environment!

ChickCents said...

Yeah, it's pretty crazy. The CEO is upset that he's gotten to this point, but Emo Kid (as I refer to him) has been working these hours for months so it'll be hard to break him of the habit. He comes from a very wealthy family so he doesn't actually have to work, but wants freedom from his parents so would like to be self sufficient (my CEO's ex-gf is friends with the kid's dad). When I say kid, I think he's 23 or 24 which makes him only a couple years younger than me :-P.

I have less paitence than my boss over it who think it's just cuz Emo Kid is young. The age excuse doesn't work on me since I'm not much older.

He knows the system the best so we have to keep him around for a couple months and he knows that he has that power. He just doesn't understand the expiration date on it and I feel bad for him...well, I do when I'm not feeling annoyed, anyways. :-P

Piecake said...

It's situations like Emo Kid that make me never want to manage people. I admire your ability to deal with him professionally!

CT Mom said...

Hi CC - first, kudos to you for where you've gotten career-wise and in your financial life, too. As a =cough= older but wiser person who was graduating from high school the year you were born, I have to say that you are light years ahead of the game. Too many folks my age are clueless about a lot of things, including career and money.

I have to tell you, though - check your HR policies about Emo Kid and see if you can put him on probation and then kick him to the curb. Can't make it in for 11 - 3? He wouldn't last 2 weeks in the real world. Also, if your CEO is upset, then both you and your boss are on his radar. The longer this goes on, the harder it will be to keep other folks in line, and it will not look good for you and your boss. Just my 2 cents ... 20+ years working I've seen a lot :-P

Good luck to you!