Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Not being the boss - my biggest adjustment in my career change

The ironic part when leaving a rather large employer, to a very small one, has been the transition of having been a boss before and not one now.

How does that work?

At my last employer, I was on a project where I ultimately had day-to-day oversight of 20+ people and indirect oversight of 80+. However, I was a cog in the wheel of that company (the project and company really not no true linkage, crazy eh?).

I left the old company for great opportunities with my present employer, and I've gotten them for sure. I'm in on company strategy meetings, I am helping plot out our IT expenditures (we hight recommend Central Desktop as an online document repository and project management tool, its very flexible) and have worked on several business development projects (including a very large one we hope to finalize in the next 2-4 weeks).

But my day-to-day work is rather different. I went from having no say or buy-in with my employer to having a lot. But also went from lots of responsibility on a daily project basis, to none. On my current project I am now just a cog (which is where I started out on my last project).

And the #1 challenge when you have been a boss, and no longer are: not acting like you are still the boss. In a good way, it is humbling. You might have let your previous management roll get to your head. But now I'm basically the low man on the totem pole.

And you MUST avoid the urge to say "When I was in charge" or "When I was managing 25 people...". People in general hate it, it upstages your current boss, and it makes you look like a jerk.

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