For weeks, I’ve been debating how I was going to blog about my experience as an interim manager. Was I going to sugar coat it and say that everything was wonderful or do I focus on the gory details? Neither. I’m going to be honest.
As I alluded to in a previous post, my boss unexpectedly resigned in early March giving two weeks notice. She had been offered a great opportunity that she would’ve been foolish to pass up. With only two weeks to decide how the office would run in the interim, the decision was made four days before her departure. The Friday before she left, my boss asked if I would consider becoming the interim manager. As someone who wasn’t even the most senior member of the team, I was extremely honored by the request. On her last day, it was announced that I would be the interim manager of the team. No title change. No salary increase. However, a great opportunity to gain additional management experience and a bonus.
Looking back on these last few months, I’ve learned some very valuable lessons.
A colleague today can turn into a hater tomorrow
There were a couple of staffers who hated the idea of me as their manager. HATED. No matter how much respect I showed them, they never accepted me as their boss even on a temporary basis. What’s that saying about the devil you know vs the devil you don’t know?
Delegate, delegate, delegate
Running the office while doing my regular job required an extra set of hands or three. Thank God for staff and interns who are willing to do the things you don’t have time to do.
Being short-staffed sucks
In the midst of my time as interim, one staffer left to go back to school and another left to move to Wisconsin. Delegate, delegate, delegate became a necessary evil.
Think long and hard before deciding if you want the job permanently
Some promotions are worth having. Some are not. Sometimes, being denied a promotion can be a blessing in disguise.
Management = more emails, more meetings
My poor inbox exploded during my interim period. I can’t tell you how many listservs I was added to. My meeting schedule was equally daunting. I had, on average, 9 weekly meetings. I honestly don’t know how my boss did this and got any work done.
Being in management does have its perks
Being a manager allowed me to attend meetings and trainings I may not have received otherwise. I also doesn’t hurt to have the executive director of your department take you to lunch from time to time.
Did my enjoy my time as manager? Yes. Was the experience painful at times? Absolutely. Did I do the right thing every time? No. However, I learned a lot about myself, my organization and human nature. This experience has led me to think about what I need to do in my career in the short and long-term. But, I’ll save that for another post 🙂