Article by Ellie Entwistle, Head of Accounts, The Audit Lab
Moving up the career ladder is what most people strive for and once you’ve reached the level of a manager, you feel so accomplished and think finally all the hard work has paid off!
Yet, as soon as I reached this goal, I had to quickly accept my new level of responsibility and realise the foot doesn’t and can’t really go off the pedal. As Head of Client Services at Bolton digital marketing agency, The Audit Lab, I’ve certainly learned a thing or two in my years here.
You need to seriously conquer your time management
My role is specific to liaising with clients and my company’s departments, being in charge of their accounts and keeping track of each department’s work progress. So, I can have one-to-one meetings booked in with scheduled hours each week, but my team may need support at any point in the day and I always need to be accessible as best I can. Not an easy task!
Less about delegation, more about building your team up
When you think of managing you think delegating, but as I’ve learned management is NOT about delegation of tasks. Not really anyway. It’s about building your team up to have the capability to dictate what tasks need to be done. At the end of the day, they’re the experts in their fields and should have the right environment with confidence to drive tasks forward, but as a manager stepping in, I can guide and tie things together neatly whilst motivating teams.
You’re more of a mentor now
You’re there for your staff as much as they’re there for you. I make sure to be available to support them in their careers and progressions when they need me. Reaching the position where I am now, I have advice, insight and guidance I can share. Not only does that show people I’ve got their back, but it can improve teamwork and productivity.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach
Everyone’s different to manage, some people excel under a more hands-on management approach, whereas some people like to ask for help when they need it – you have to ADAPT to them! It’s therefore important to monitor and take note of different workers’ needs, so you can be a more effective manager, and in turn, they can be more effective in their role.
Friendly but firm
You need to have a balanced relationship with your team, where you praise their work but still have their respect if you need to have a more negative conversation. My colleagues know me and where I’m coming from, and best of all, that I’ve got their best interests at heart. Once people know that, they can respect you more and take more difficult conversations better and work with you. We’re all working together for the same goal at the end of the day, so being firm and friendly is part and parcel of being a manager, especially when you take a lot of the responsibility.
About the author
Ellie started her career as a digital marketing apprentice, and with over 3 years of digital marketing experience she now takes great care in looking after her clients as Head of Accounts.
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