Transitioning to a Manager Role: When to Change Companies

This brief article is addressed to those who, while not yet in a managerial role, are interested in becoming a manager and simultaneously exploring opportunities outside their current company.

It’s well-known that transitioning to a managerial role involves acquiring skills and soft competencies often completely different from those required to excel within a team as an operational resource.

This is evident in highly technical roles. However, even someone with strong communication-oriented tasks, such as a salesperson, will, in some instances, need to adopt an approach often antithetical to what was required to be a successful salesperson once promoted to a manager.

In this case, our budding manager must learn to value people with whom they were previously in competition, adapt to their approaches and work rhythms, prioritize collaboration over competitiveness, and often cannot directly resolve problems but must rely on the skills and abilities of their resources.

For this reason, the transition to a manager is a true transformation. It takes time and cannot be undertaken without significant risks if the person is not comfortable in their current work environment, lacks strong support from superiors, or cannot dedicate themselves to it with the utmost exclusive and focused attention.

From this simple reflection, several scenarios arise:

Pipeline to Management: 

If you are on the verge of being promoted to a manager in your current company and know with certainty that this will happen in the not-too-distant future, it would be doubly risky and counterproductive to move to a similar position in another company, no matter how appealing it may be, pays better, and promises a managerial role.

You would find yourself having to adapt to a new corporate context, potentially with new products and customers, adding complexity and requiring a learning curve compared to your current position. In the best-case scenario, you would be entering the new managerial role without the necessary peace of mind, which could jeopardize your development.

Moreover, this learning curve could inevitably delay your promotion, despite the indications you receive from the new company.

In this case, it is advisable to first develop your managerial skills in your current company before venturing into the job market when you feel solid and appreciated in that role, for another managerial position.

Recent Manager: 

If, on the other hand, you have recently been promoted to a manager and have updated your social media profiles, leading to contacts for positions at the new level, you might be tempted to change companies very quickly simply because the prospects presented to you are economically appealing and attractive in terms of tasks.

Regarding the latter point, it’s essential to realize that every managerial role will be interesting and appealing to you precisely because you have recently stepped into this type of role and still tend to see yourself as a team resource rather than a coordinator.

However, being recently promoted to a manager should not lead you, even if you possess innate communication skills and self-confidence, to believe that you have already developed sufficient skills to handle the additional complexity that comes with changing companies and dealing with new colleagues.

If you approach this change without having fully matured a set of managerial skills, you risk being rejected by the new team and being identified as an unreliable manager. In these cases, the company always prioritizes team continuity, and the consequence for you could be unproductive.

Therefore, when you are promoted to a manager, be grateful to yourself and your company for this growth opportunity. Commit to gaining solid experience in your new role, which will help you in your daily work and future job changes by ensuring you have the peace of mind and security to lead a new team.

Stalled Aspiring Manager: 

Finally, if you aspire to become a manager, consider yourself ready for this transition, and your current company does not allow you to do so for any reason (whether the role is already filled or the organizational structure does not include a coordinating function in your area), you have two alternatives.

The first, not always possible, is to operationally grow your area of expertise in the company until someone is needed to support you. In this case, naturally, you will assume a coordinating responsibility for the new resource.

The second option is to look for external opportunities. Even in this case, and despite being contacted for managerial positions, be cautious about considering them.

While the prospect may seem appealing to your ego, as discussed above, it is a risk that could jeopardize your overall career path.

If you were to move into a managerial role in a new company without being fully prepared, you might find yourself worse off than before.

In this case, the right path is to seek a position in a new company that will allow you, after an intermediate period (e.g., 6 months or a year), to transition to the managerial role once you have acclimatized.

We hope this information has been helpful. If you find yourself in one of the scenarios mentioned above and would like to discuss it further, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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