Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

A millennial who regrets rushing to be a manager in her 20s explains what she wishes she knew then and why it’s fine to never want to be a boss at all<!-- wp:html --><p>Kim Elizabeth James shared why she wish she waited a little longer before becoming a manager.</p> <p class="copyright">Courtesy of Kim Elizabeth James</p> <p>Kim Elizabeth James wishes she waited until later to take on her first manager role.She was burned out and worried she wasn't working on her skills in a manager job in her 20s.Now that she's in her 30s, she loves managing and helping her team with their development.</p> <p>When she was in her 20s, Kim Elizabeth James really wanted to move up to a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/ultimate-guide-how-to-become-better-boss-30-days-2019-4" rel="noopener">manager</a> role at the Australian company where she worked.</p> <p>"It felt like throughout our 20s we were rushing as fast as possible to get through the assistant and the coordinator steps to get to that prestigious manager title," James, who is now 30, said. "There was just such a genuine excitement for it that getting to manager<strong> </strong>was like, 'oh my gosh, I've made it.'"</p> <p>She reached her goal and became a marketing <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/boss-management-leadership-advice-hiring-developing-people-earning-respect-2020-1" rel="noopener">manager</a> at 26. However, the position came with new responsibilities and concerns. She questioned if she had the skills and experience to help her reports grow their careers.</p> <p>"Being a manager to me is very important to ensure you can assist your team with their own development and their career trajectory," James said. "I felt at 26 I was navigating my own career trajectory whilst trying to help others with theirs too."</p> <p>James recalled feeling "crippling anxiety of imposter syndrome" at a leadership training.</p> <p>"I was like, 'oh my God, they're going to find out that I'm just young and 26 and I don't know what I'm doing,'" she said.</p> <p>James ended up leaving that manager role. She said it was just too <a target="_blank" href="https://www.insider.com/why-millennials-and-gen-z-dont-want-to-be-managers-2023-11" rel="noopener">early in her career to be a manager</a>. She said at 26, "you don't know yourself, and there's still so much to learn."</p> <p>Now she is a manager at another company and believes she can help her predominantly Gen Z team with their hard and soft skills and share what she learned when she was in her 20s.</p> <p>James creates job-related content on her <a target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@kimelizabethjames1" rel="noopener">TikTok</a> account. Becoming a people manager was one of the things on James' list in a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@kimelizabethjames1/video/7301128106021113096" rel="noopener">TikTok video</a> of career-related things she wouldn't do again in her 20s.</p> <p>Not everyone wants to be a manager at all. Business Insider previously talked to two <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-no-promotion-manager-stress-pay-work-life-balance-2023-11" rel="noopener">millennials who prefer being individual contributors</a>. They don't see the pressure the role can come with as worth it. A <a target="_blank" href="https://www.visier.com/blog/new-research-individual-contributors-shun-management/" rel="noopener">Visier survey</a> showed only 38% of individual contributors were interested in being a people manager where they work.</p> <h2>Being a manager in her 20s versus her 30s</h2> <p>When James was a manager in her 20s, she worried about having the time to keep her skills up to date.</p> <p>This, she said, is what led her "to reaching full-on career burnout" at 28. She said the pandemic had an impact too and noted she "was trying to do it all."</p> <p>"I was trying to manage and give to my people, but then also my own abilities at the same time," she said.</p> <p>After eight years at the company, she felt burned out. She also wanted to branch out because she had been at the same company since university graduation. She took a consulting job and was able to focus on her skills. She noted it "was the perfect reset."</p> <p>"I was able to just have a level of service that I could provide to my clients, and it just brought me back to life," she said. "I felt like during that time my confidence in myself and my own abilities just skyrocketed. And that's when I started to think with time and also starting to hit 30, I was like, why did I want to become a people manager so badly?"</p> <p>James said she wished someone told her being a manager "doesn't have to be the only kind of attribution to success" and instead figuring out ways to develop and expand her skills or work on larger projects.</p> <p>James is now chief customer officer where she said she loves coaching her team and helping them with their development, such as with learning<strong> </strong>new skills and career planning.</p> <p>"We do performance reviews, and I will say to them, 'what do you want to get out of this for you?'" she said. "There's no way I could have known myself and how to do that at 26 because I was at the age of doing it with others."</p> <p>James said she wished she didn't rush through her 20s to get this step. She added she wished instead she had "focused on my craft knowing I could be a manager further down the line."</p> <p>She<strong> </strong>said<strong> </strong>there's not a set age to be a manager. Instead, it depends on a person's goals and what they want to develop in their career, she said.</p> <h2><strong>How to get into management</strong></h2> <p>James' advice to people who do want to try management is to know what the role requires: managing people and being responsible for their growth. James said this requires good communication skills, knowing how to have tough conversations, and being there for the people that report to them.</p> <p>"Good managers are the ones that make that time and make that priority for people," James said. "I will always try to make sure that I make time for my team if they have questions. So then that means that I have to be a lot stronger with my time management and my workload."</p> <p>To prepare for the transition from individual contributor to manager, James said people can talk to their managers about a learning and development plan and what skills they need to work on. It also helps to find experienced leaders willing to be a mentor so they can learn how they lead.</p> <h2>James enjoys managing now in her 30s</h2> <p>"I think some people say people manager can be a bit of a thankless job, but it's one that I thoroughly enjoy, helping other people with their career journey," James said.</p> <p>She loves that she's able to not only help people in her manager position but also through her TikTok.</p> <p>"I've had people reach out to me and ask, 'Hey, I was working in this and now I've reached a point where I'm struggling to get a new job,'" she said. "And I love that I can go, 'Hey, I learned all these things early in my career and I like to be what I wish that I had.'"</p> <p><em>Do you have any career regrets? What do you wish you knew about work in your 20s? How do you feel about being a manager? Reach out to this reporter to share at </em><a target="_blank" href="mailto:mhoff@businessinsider.com" rel="noopener"><em>mhoff@businessinsider.com</em></a><em>.</em></p> <div class="read-original">Read the original article on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/millennial-becoming-manager-regret-job-career-advice-2023-12">Business Insider</a></div><!-- /wp:html -->

Kim Elizabeth James shared why she wish she waited a little longer before becoming a manager.

Kim Elizabeth James wishes she waited until later to take on her first manager role.She was burned out and worried she wasn’t working on her skills in a manager job in her 20s.Now that she’s in her 30s, she loves managing and helping her team with their development.

When she was in her 20s, Kim Elizabeth James really wanted to move up to a manager role at the Australian company where she worked.

“It felt like throughout our 20s we were rushing as fast as possible to get through the assistant and the coordinator steps to get to that prestigious manager title,” James, who is now 30, said. “There was just such a genuine excitement for it that getting to manager was like, ‘oh my gosh, I’ve made it.'”

She reached her goal and became a marketing manager at 26. However, the position came with new responsibilities and concerns. She questioned if she had the skills and experience to help her reports grow their careers.

“Being a manager to me is very important to ensure you can assist your team with their own development and their career trajectory,” James said. “I felt at 26 I was navigating my own career trajectory whilst trying to help others with theirs too.”

James recalled feeling “crippling anxiety of imposter syndrome” at a leadership training.

“I was like, ‘oh my God, they’re going to find out that I’m just young and 26 and I don’t know what I’m doing,'” she said.

James ended up leaving that manager role. She said it was just too early in her career to be a manager. She said at 26, “you don’t know yourself, and there’s still so much to learn.”

Now she is a manager at another company and believes she can help her predominantly Gen Z team with their hard and soft skills and share what she learned when she was in her 20s.

James creates job-related content on her TikTok account. Becoming a people manager was one of the things on James’ list in a TikTok video of career-related things she wouldn’t do again in her 20s.

Not everyone wants to be a manager at all. Business Insider previously talked to two millennials who prefer being individual contributors. They don’t see the pressure the role can come with as worth it. A Visier survey showed only 38% of individual contributors were interested in being a people manager where they work.

Being a manager in her 20s versus her 30s

When James was a manager in her 20s, she worried about having the time to keep her skills up to date.

This, she said, is what led her “to reaching full-on career burnout” at 28. She said the pandemic had an impact too and noted she “was trying to do it all.”

“I was trying to manage and give to my people, but then also my own abilities at the same time,” she said.

After eight years at the company, she felt burned out. She also wanted to branch out because she had been at the same company since university graduation. She took a consulting job and was able to focus on her skills. She noted it “was the perfect reset.”

“I was able to just have a level of service that I could provide to my clients, and it just brought me back to life,” she said. “I felt like during that time my confidence in myself and my own abilities just skyrocketed. And that’s when I started to think with time and also starting to hit 30, I was like, why did I want to become a people manager so badly?”

James said she wished someone told her being a manager “doesn’t have to be the only kind of attribution to success” and instead figuring out ways to develop and expand her skills or work on larger projects.

James is now chief customer officer where she said she loves coaching her team and helping them with their development, such as with learning new skills and career planning.

“We do performance reviews, and I will say to them, ‘what do you want to get out of this for you?'” she said. “There’s no way I could have known myself and how to do that at 26 because I was at the age of doing it with others.”

James said she wished she didn’t rush through her 20s to get this step. She added she wished instead she had “focused on my craft knowing I could be a manager further down the line.”

She said there’s not a set age to be a manager. Instead, it depends on a person’s goals and what they want to develop in their career, she said.

How to get into management

James’ advice to people who do want to try management is to know what the role requires: managing people and being responsible for their growth. James said this requires good communication skills, knowing how to have tough conversations, and being there for the people that report to them.

“Good managers are the ones that make that time and make that priority for people,” James said. “I will always try to make sure that I make time for my team if they have questions. So then that means that I have to be a lot stronger with my time management and my workload.”

To prepare for the transition from individual contributor to manager, James said people can talk to their managers about a learning and development plan and what skills they need to work on. It also helps to find experienced leaders willing to be a mentor so they can learn how they lead.

James enjoys managing now in her 30s

“I think some people say people manager can be a bit of a thankless job, but it’s one that I thoroughly enjoy, helping other people with their career journey,” James said.

She loves that she’s able to not only help people in her manager position but also through her TikTok.

“I’ve had people reach out to me and ask, ‘Hey, I was working in this and now I’ve reached a point where I’m struggling to get a new job,'” she said. “And I love that I can go, ‘Hey, I learned all these things early in my career and I like to be what I wish that I had.'”

Do you have any career regrets? What do you wish you knew about work in your 20s? How do you feel about being a manager? Reach out to this reporter to share at mhoff@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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