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Management vs Front Line

post #1 of 2
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I work as a social worker and really enjoy working with my clients.

I've had 3 different supervisory/management positions in the past but I've never enjoyed any of them. I always liked working with the people who reported to me. However, in each case, I found the politics and (what I perceived to be) the general level of incompetence that existed amongst senior managers to be more than I could put up with.

I thus wound up deciding to go back to front line work and still enjoy the direct work with clients. However, I certainly make less money than I would in a management position and at some level feel that I have failed in terms of career advancement, etc. At some level, I still feel like moving up and getting promotions is what one is supposed to do. I've thought about giving it another go as a supervisor at some point but am reluctant to do so.

Anyhow, I'm just wondering what others' experiences have been in their careers when it comes to moving up and getting promotions vs. staying where one is.
post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bentley View Post

I work as a social worker and really enjoy working with my clients.
I've had 3 different supervisory/management positions in the past but I've never enjoyed any of them. I always liked working with the people who reported to me. However, in each case, I found the politics and (what I perceived to be) the general level of incompetence that existed amongst senior managers to be more than I could put up with.
I thus wound up deciding to go back to front line work and still enjoy the direct work with clients. However, I certainly make less money than I would in a management position and at some level feel that I have failed in terms of career advancement, etc. At some level, I still feel like moving up and getting promotions is what one is supposed to do. I've thought about giving it another go as a supervisor at some point but am reluctant to do so.
Anyhow, I'm just wondering what others' experiences have been in their careers when it comes to moving up and getting promotions vs. staying where one is.

You'll get a ton of varying answers but I think in general it's highly dependant from one person to the next. Some people need to feel like they are constantly moving, be it up, laterally, or wherever. Others are happy staying in the same position for decades. Many factors play into this, including interest in your position, how you get along with your colleagues, etc.

At my work, my colleague has been in the same position for 10-15 years and she has repeatedly rejected overtures to become a manager because she tried it and didn't like it. The smaller salary is worth the tradeoff of having less policing to do and not having to deal with senior management.

The biggest problem I see with senior managers is that oftentimes it's a group is often made up of many of those people who just want to move up in their careers who have finally come to a point where they need to do more than just plan their next career move and they have no idea what to do or how to add value to the organization.
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