3 reasons why middle managers should consider leaving their job
It’s a fact: 8 out of 10 middle managers are wondering if they should be at the job they’re at right now. The reason that this percentage is so high among middle managers is that middle management is actually a junction in your career. At this junction, you can decide to continue straight and work towards a promotion at your current organization or make a turn and try your luck at a new one place of work. As I’ve explained in my previous posts in this series, there are basically three general categories as to why you might want to leave your current job: your intrinsic satisfaction, the organizational environment, and your need to develop. This post is dedicated to professional development goals for managers like you.
No more challenges
Like any new job, when you began, everything seemed so interesting. You couldn’t wait to dive into projects, updating yourself on previous steps so that you could take it from there. New challenges required becoming absorbed in unexplored territory and your job seemed more like taking an amazing class in “real business” than work - and your learning curve was as steep as could be. There couldn’t be more appropriate professional development goals for managers than this. But now that you know the ropes, you’re not as excited. Projects that once seemed like an exhilarating climb up Mt. Everest can almost be done in your sleep. The problem is that as a middle manager, there’s a pretty limited range of responsibilities that can be given to you - so you find weeks and even months - crying out to you: “same old, same old”.
No more mentors
One of the things you valued most about your job was your brilliant mentors. They were the key to getting you to understand things in a way you wouldn’t have been able to do on your own. While you’d look at an issue to be solved in one way, they would provide brand new perspectives, exposing you to new avenues for tackling the most important challenges. Compared to where you were in your career, their field expertise allowed you to tap into their knowledge and creativity so that you could develop your own approaches. There was nothing more inspiring or motivating than these mentors. But as the years have passed, many of them have left - either to other organizations or retirement. While these days you find yourself mentoring others, you long for the days when you could be inspired and motivated by others.
Lack of professional development
An aspect of your job that you’ve truly enjoyed over the years is the emphasis on professional development in all shapes and sizes: seminars, out-of-town conferences, online training programs, and even a well-stocked library of the latest and greatest in management practices. But recently, you’ve noticed less and less opportunities for professional development. When asking around, you find out that your organization has had to tighten its belt, but then you see that others are still being given opportunities. Is it you? Does your department not see you as worth investing in anymore? Is it your boss? Has he or she changed their tune with regard to the importance of professional development? Or is it really the company trying to save money? It’s worth investigating the reason, but it’s even more important to understand the dangers to your career posed by a lack of ongoing professional development.
We all know that an important aspect of job satisfaction is the feeling that you are growing both professionally and personally along your career path. Ensuring that you have the right challenges, mentors, and development opportunities are key to maintaining job satisfaction. Don’t wait for any of these to melt away with time. Either keep them active or find a place where you can reignite them.
And always remember:
Great managers are made. Not born.
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