Around three weeks ago, my manager offered me her role as she intended to move to a different team and position. The offer was quite unexpected and so was naturally shocking.
My feelings towards the offer changed from shock to discomfort to restlessness and anxiety and back and forth. Yes, it felt great that someone superior to me felt that I am worthy to take up something so responsible. It felt awesome that someone I admire was ready to trust me with her team that she had grown to love so much. Then you may ask, why so many negative feelings ?
I thought about the responsibilities and the tasks that would be associated with the new role. Managing people, their tasks, deliveries, assessing people, tracking projects, motivating team and most importantly leading the team. It requires skill and talent in various aspects and good amount of dedication. I thought about how I would fit into the role. As I thought about each task, neither did I feel any love towards that task nor did I find myself excited about developing skills for that task. The only feeling I had was that I’ll not be able to do justice to some task that I am whole heartedly not interested in. I didn’t find it right to accept something half heartedly and later feel guilty about not doing it right. I had lots of fears and restlessness within me.
I decided to not take up the role and conveyed it to my manager. She tried a lot to convince me to give it a try but all I felt was reluctance within me.
My manager’s manager scheduled a meeting with me for yesterday afternoon and from the moment I received the invite, a plethora of thoughts flooded my mind. Is it right to say no to something ? Am I doing the right thing ? How is the opposite person going to receive my decision ? What would the consequences be ?
With increasing magnitude of butterflies residing in my stomach, I couldn’t help but google about how to convey the reasoning behind my decision and what my aspirations are and where my interests lie. I was amazed to see a whole bunch of articles on how it is very common to not choose managerial roles and how many people prefer to continue in the individual contributor roles and how to convey such decisions to the management.
The meeting got over in a very short time and my manager’s manager turned out to be very understanding. He found my reasons perfectly valid and stated that it is okay to grow in which ever direction one likes to. He has asked me to get back to him whenever I have a change of mind.
I heaved a big sigh of relief after that meeting….
I hope I have done the right thing by following my heart….
I hope my learning and growth continues to happen in the direction where my interests lie….