Tips for the Young Manager

· by Todd White

Todd is the Director of Site Operations at HTI. He began his career with HTI in 2010 as an Account Coordinator & Recruiter.
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It’s a very common goal for young professionals coming out of school to make it to the highest rung on the “Corporate Ladder” as quickly as possible. Though not everyone is destined to become a manager, VP or CEO; I think it is safe to say that many start their careers with the idea of reaching one or more of those titles. Some people will be lucky enough to find themselves working for a great company that values leadership potential, no matter the age.

So, you’re in your mid to late 20’s and upper management starts to see leadership potential in you at a very early age. You begin to have more responsibilities, and it’s easy to see that management is preparing you to move into a management role very soon. The day comes that you receive the news that you are being promoted to management. What a great feeling of accomplishment! Then it sinks in, and your mind starts racing. “Wow, I am now responsible for others. Everyone that reports to me is the same age or older than me. My clients are much more seasoned in their careers than me. What will everyone think of me? Do they think I have earned this? Will they take me seriously?”

Management positions can be very difficult, no matter how old you are, but being a young manager compounds those difficulties. So how do you become a successful young manager?

  1. Never lose sight of what got you here – hard work. Do not let those who report to you feel as though you are now coasting through work, now that you have the “title.”
  2. Stay humble! Employees want to work “with” their manager, not “for” their manager. Don’t get caught in a power trip.
  3. When speaking with your employees or your clients, do not focus on your age. Focus on what your experiences are, and be confident in your knowledge in your field of business. Knowledge always speaks louder than age!
  4. Set and maintain expectations for your team. It is important for your team to know you are holding them accountable.
  5. Get into the trenches often. It’s great for the team to see that you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty in the day to day tasks. Your credibility with your team will sky-rocket.
  6. Never be afraid to admit you’re wrong. Encourage your team to challenge you, and accept their ideas if it make sense for the business.
  7. Finally, always give credit to your team!

I hope these simple tips help all young managers!