Saturday, February 5, 2011

Slowly Getting There

Type in a Google Search for the term "going crazy" and this is what popped up, and it's totally my life right now. 

Work is slowing getting better. I went from 5.5 accounts (it was 6, but I wasn't able to devote my full attention to one account, so I count it as 1/2) to four, and I no longer feel like I'm paddling just to keep my head above water. Now I'm in a position where I can think about my client's needs and offer them good, strategic counsel. 

It's so funny how things work out. I was talking to a former client yesterday and remarked about how much has changed in the three years we've known each other. Back then I was an entry level account executive who knew very little about tech PR. He was a product manager for one of my accounts. Now I'm an account manager and he's a VP of marketing. 

Looking back on three short years I've made significant leaps, and I can only imagine how much more I'll grow in my career in the next three years. The challenges I face now as a new manager will be old hat in three years and I'll be working on new challenges, and honestly those challenges are probably things that aren't even on my radar now. 

For a long time I thought I was ready for the step into a manager role. I knew what was expected (or so I thought) but I never had any idea the extent of what was expected. And I don't want to whine, but being a manager is HARD. There are decisions I've had to make early on that I didn't believe I'd have to think about for a long while. Yet, here I am, 5 weeks into being a manager with tough decisions to make. Knowing what I now know, I have new found respect for every manager I've worked with. I had no idea the challenges they were facing and what they were being asked to do. I realize now that they were doing the best they could, and 99% of the time they did a great job. And what's harder is that I've realized early on how thankless a manager's job can be. If we're doing our jobs well, our clients will be happy with the results the reps are getting, and all the background work we're doing will never be known. And for a Leo who loves the spotlight, I can honestly say that's going to take some getting used to. On the flip side though, if a client isn't happy about something (real or imaginary) the blame and the expectation to fix it is directly on the manager. Talk about a pressure situation!

I think the part of this job that's going to be hardest for me is not taking things personally. The thick skin I've developed over six years in this industry is going to need to get thicker. There are going to be days I'm not going to enjoy being a manager, when I have to deliver bad news, when I make someone cry/get angry/frustrated/you name it, and I'm going to have to remember that it's not personal, it's business. I told Stephen that my goal at the end of the day is to be respected as a manager. I may not always be liked (I know, I'm shocked at that thought too) but if people can respect my decisions, respect me as a person, then I will feel like I succeeded. 

So I realize that I'm slowly getting there. And hopefully I don't become like the comic above. I don't want to do what I'm doing just to avoid poverty. I want to keep doing what I love, especially because it's challenging.


Jessica said...

Ohhhh I can soooo relate to this, girl!! HA! I totally could've written this post ;-) You're doing great!! Hang in *will* get easier...soon.

Michele said...

Thanks Lady. It's just another challenge, something I know we BOTH appreciate and are grateful for. :)

Jolene said...

I could have written this too!! TOTALLY get this, 100$%. like whoa. But you are doing an awesome job, I just know it. And you are going to grow into the best manager there is, because you care, you are driven, and you GOT this :)

Becky Mochaface said...

But Michele, we're not Leos anymore. We're now Cancers. I know. This totally throws my world off balance too.

Michele said...


If you ever utter those words again, I may revoke your sole sister card!

We are Leos through and through! :)