Are you ready to become a manager?

Title - Are you ready to become a manager with a yellow background.

Becoming a manager or a team leader for the first time is an exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking career step. In addition to your own work, a manager is responsible for motivating their team, ensuring company goals are met and improving processes, products and services.


So how do you know if you’re ready to become a manager? In this article, I’ll dive into the key elements I’ve discovered while coaching and mentoring hundreds of employees that help people become clear about whether they are ready to start their leadership journey.


Your Career Goals


The first question I ask someone struggling to decide if they would like to become a leader is, “Why do you REALLY want this role?”. There are no right or wrong answers to this question. However, some responses will make the transition to manager smoother and with greater long-term results.


Reasons to become a manager, such as those listed below, are common but often create issues in the future:


  • There is no one left to fill the role
  • I want/need more money
  • I’m at a certain age/point in my career where I should take on a leadership role
  • I have excellent technical skills and this is the next logical step


When the primary motivation for becoming a manager is one of these, in my experience, these leaders become more burnt out, dislike the job and regret taking on the role significantly more than people whose main motivation is something similar to:


  • I enjoy helping people grow and develop
  • I see better ways to do things
  • I like problem-solving to achieve strategic goals
  • I’m keen to be in a more hands-off role to focus on team outcomes


The second question I usually ask someone thinking of applying for a leadership position for the first time is, “How would this change fit into your personal goals and life right now?”. And people generally respond with one of two answers.


If a lot is going on for you right now (think significant life changes, instability or feelings of fatigue or overwhelm), it may be that this is not a good time to make a career change that will require mental agility, focus and more work. This also doesn’t mean saying no to a management role forever – instead, it means saying “just not yet”.


On the flip side, if becoming a team leader feels like a challenge that your life will support at the moment, now might be a great time to take on a new position and responsibilities.


If you have five minutes, take the time to grab a piece of paper and pen and try a bit of career journaling. Answer these two questions honestly, and see if your motivations and life are in a place where becoming a manager is the next step for you.

Two journaling prompts

Key Management Skills


No matter the industry or technical specialty, there are three critical skills that all soon-to-be and current managers should continuously develop. And if you have these skills, it’s about time you became a manager!



Communicating clearly, adapting to different audiences and ensuring you are heard is the number one skill a manager must have. Whether you are talking to your team, writing a paper for the executives or negotiating a new process with your fellow managers, communicating up, down and sideways effectively in an organisation should be your number one capability.

And if you already have experience negotiating, influencing and honestly communicating difficult topics – then the role of a leader sounds right up your alley!



Building trust with people can be tricky. And as a manager, the way you build trust with different stakeholders in an organisation changes. This means having honest conversations with your team about their skills, development, and performance and proactively advocating for them. For your manager, it means getting the job done correctly on time and communicating when things go wrong. And for the organisation, building trust means producing results and exceeding those where possible.


As a team member, you will have already built trust with your colleagues, other teams and your manager. Consider how you can use those relationships and experiences to keep building trusted and productive relationships as a manager.



Being able to delegate is essential to succeed as a manager. As you assume more responsibilities for leading the team, coordinating tasks, and of course, your own workload, being able to delegate actions to your team will help you stay organised and on track.


Delegating isn’t without its own challenges however. To ensure the work is done to the standard you need, clear communication, coaching and mentoring, and matching a suitable activity to the right person is a must. It’s also a great way to help your team develop their skills in a new area.


Interviewing for a manager position?

Suppose you’re interviewing for a manager position for the first time and would like assistance confidently communicating how your skills translate into a leadership position. In that case, our Zoom Interview Coaching sessions are individually tailored for each person’s unique situation and abilities. Plus, these sessions can be booked at a time that best suits your schedule – so you don’t have to do this on your lunch break!


Are you sure I’m ready to be a manager? Fighting Imposter Syndrome​

Are you sure I’m ready to be a manager? Fighting Imposter Syndrome

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