Career Change: 7 Tips For When You Don’t Want to Be in Charge Anymore

 In Career Tips, Job Search Strategy

Career Change: 7 Tips For When You Don’t Want to Be in Charge AnymoreMany people aspire to be in charge – to be the boss and manager.  Being in management is one of many career destinations.  You may think you would be very good at the helm of a group and have many ideas on how you could do it better than most of the people who have been your boss.  Like most careers, management has its good aspects, along with the bad.  Sometimes, the bad things about being the boss are not obvious until you get there. And when you find these things out a sense of panic can set in.  Am I really cut out to do this job?  Do I want to keep up with the demands that this job entails?  Will this job get better?

It is often easy to look at a career superficially and see only the things that look good.  Based on that view of the career, we set our course for getting the job, and eventually we land it.  It all sounds good, until it isn’t.  In many careers we don’t really look under the hood to truly understand how the work gets done, what skills are primarily used, the demands, rewards and downsides.  All jobs have duties that we don’t like and it’s important to understand what those are before going in.  Management does have some highly rewarding elements to it; but as a person once said, you have to like being in a vice grip every day in order to be in management.  On one side, you’ve got upper management making demands of you and on the other side you have a group of people you have to compel to deliver results.  That group also has their demands, and many times, the needs of the two sides are in conflict.  This type of situation can make a person feel like it’s a no-win situation.

Although a career change itself can feel like a daunting decision, when you consider the additional layers of issues that go with pulling out of a management career, it may feel impossible.  Some of these issues include:

Exiting without embarrassing yourself or looking like a failure.

Can you take a demotion with the company you’re with or do you have to leave?

Does exiting this position mean you can never go back into management?

Will you be leaving your company in a bad position?

Core career change issues, like what you would do next and how to figure it out.

Basic fear of change and the unknown.

Like any other career change, if you’ve come to the conclusion that staying is worse than going, you can overcome the concerns listed above.  Exiting a management position, for whatever reason, doesn’t mean you can’t return at a later point.  The next step does require some action to figure it out, but it will be worth your sanity to do the work.  Let’s look at 7 tips to make this change work well:

  1. Work a budget scenario to see how you will manage on a reduced income.  We get attached to a new level of income each time we get a raise.  If you take pay cut due to a demotion, you need to start planning for adjusting your life style and do it now.
  2. Check your company for policies and attitudes on demoting. Go to HR, if you have them, or to your immediate boss and start the discussion to see what’s possible.
  3. Check projects and plans for dependencies that only you can do. Be prepared to discuss timing for your exit from the position in such a way that you aren’t creating a business problem.
  4. Be prepared to suggest other positions you would feel qualified and eager to assume at your current company. 
  5. Be prepared to explain yourself in a professional manner.  This is considered a big step that many people simply don’t understand.  Your management will need to feel confident that you are making the move for the right reasons, including considering those people who report to you.
  6. You may need to leave your company.  Depending on your company’s situation, your only alternative may be to pursue a job search at another company.  Your best move could be to simply pursue the type of position you were doing prior to management.
  7. Don’t disclose your dissatisfaction with managing to ANYONE at work.  This may be the first time you’ve been in a position of holding your tongue to everyone at your job; but this is the kind of thing that can cause huge turmoil and speculation.  You can create more problems than you currently have.  If you need to vent, take it to someone who doesn’t work there.

Your career will never be a totally smooth and straight path.  You will zig and zag as circumstances change and you change.  If you find yourself in management and it doesn’t suit you, then it’s time to admit it to yourself and find something that you love.

For more career tips and advice claim your Free Instant Access to the Career Makeover Newsletter AND eWorkbook “Should I Stay or Should I Go” – both dedicated to Your career success, when you visit  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from and

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