I recently got a promotion. I was really excited at first – more money and a better title. It was great. In my old job, I had people reporting to me and now there are people reporting to them.
It sounds goods but the problem is my workload has exploded. I’m working really late, plus weekends and still missing deadlines. AND, I’m more than a little peeved that when I’m burning the midnight oil, I’m the only one here. The rest of my “team” is long gone.
First, congratulations on the new job! I’m sure it’s well deserved.
It sounds like a familiar scenario. You’ve taken on more responsibility on top of what you were already handling.
One of the toughest challenges of taking on a bigger role and thriving is the importance of shifting gears.
There are a few dynamics here. First, to keep all your current duties and add new ones is not sustainable. There is only so much time (and energy) available. Keep in mind that every time we add something new to our plate, we must let go of something else.
Second, what made you successful in your previous job will not work in your new job in the same way. If you stay involved in the day to day operations of your direct reports or their staff, you can’t be available to do what is expected of you in your new role.
Let’s say in your old job you were very hands on; you worked alongside your staff, you checked details and ensured that deadlines were met. Now that you have broader responsibility, you cannot be in the weeds like you were before and still be available for your new duties.
What this comes down to is that you need to let go of your old role. Many people find that challenging.
One issue is that some of their identity is enmeshed in the old role.
Another issue is the skills they developed and came to rely on. They say, “You’re telling me to stop doing the things that worked so well and got me this far and start operating in a way that is new and, to me, untested? Do I have that right?” Well, yes.
As an example, now that you have both direct and indirect reports, you need to get out of the weeds (read: out of the way) and let your direct reports manage their staff.
First, by doing this, you will have the bandwidth to start leading: see the bigger picture, communicate a vision and set goals, engage key players (in multiple directions) for buy-in, and set the pace and direction for executing.