I'm sitting here exhausted after working late into the night to prepare for a huge presentation this morning. While my feet ache and I'm having a hard time staying upright I feel really satisfied. I worked hard, and I did an awesome job. I can't think of a much better feeling that that.
It has me thinking about my career aspirations and the recent troubles that I've been having at work. Most of these troubles came from moving into management. Today I worked as an individual contributor, worked really hard, but in the end was simply responsible for myself. And I tend to not let myself down.
When I'm doing my own work there is no drama, no head games. I have to simply put my head down and come out on the other side. But management is different. It's sticky and subjective, and I have to think about how to motivate people when I have no idea why trying not to fail and having pride in your work doesn't do the trick. And I'm wondering if career advancement is enough of a reason to put up with all of the challenges. To top it off I can see just how unhappy the full time managers are (I'm part time, and spend the other time as an individual contributor) and it isn't something I aspire to.
On the other hand there are some advantages with management. As much as I begrudge the tasks now it is a new challenge. I'm certainly not bored and learning new skills such as how to motivate others, direct a team, etc. is quite interesting to me. Being a manager also means less travel and as we consider future kiddos that definitely factors in. It also keeps me in an upward path. If I select to stay as an individual contributor there's not a lot of room for job growth and that scares the heck out of me.
I currently feel like the best option to pursue is a hybrid role like I currently have. Most folks in my position are trying to move into full time management but I think that would make me feel a bit out of touch (our business is client driven) and I think I might just go insane with having nothing to do but direct other people. I also think that I need to keep my mind open and realize that while the managers that have gone down the path before me did things their way and I can take it in a slightly different direction. I've already tried to be way more interactive with my team because I really value the camaraderie even if it comes off a little less professional.
I'm not sure what the final answer is at this point, but I'm wondering how others handle becoming the coach when they really enjoy being the batter?