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Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of an iT company. still running marathons though.

4 Common Obstacles First-Time Managers Often Stumble Upon + How to Overcome Them

Ask any employee and probably the great majority of them would answer they dream of climbing the professional ladder at the company they are working for. Call it a desire to grow, love for what they do or just a never-ending goal-setting – regardless of the reason, many people would love to see themselves as leaders. But with leadership come also obstacles first-time managers oftentimes witness down their career path.

I’m a perfect example of this – long before I founded my own company and entered the shoes of someone in charge, I was employed and can tell for a fact that growth and professional development have always shaped my virtues. I can also tell you this – at the very beginning of my management career, I stumbled upon quite some obstacles and problematic situations that I’m grateful I managed to find a solution for. But I understand how nerve-wracking the entire experience might be, especially for beginners.

That’s why today’s article’s agenda is to shed some light on some of the first-time managers’ obstacles – I hope my input would be quite helpful and assist numerous aspiring leaders to go through the dynamic business landscape effortlessly. Let’s get down to it.

Being a First-Time Manager Is Not What You Think 

Many employees just turned managers fall victim to the idea that once you become a leader, you need to work way less since the team would be responsible for doing all the work. If you think that’s the case, then you’ll be having a hard time once you get promoted.

Of course, people often miss out on important details and fail to conduct thorough research prior to engaging in a certain activity or role. While it’s true the staff conducts the majority of tasks and duties, it’s precisely the manager who is in charge when it comes to monitoring all work processes. What’s more, they also need to monitor the entire project execution when it comes to the clients as well – think of it this way: the project manager is the vessel that connects the customer with the team, ready to fulfill all their needs and agendas.

Without proper task distribution, monitoring and work delegation, any project would be doomed – when you come to think about it, the pressure is enormous. Perhaps that’s why first-time managers oftentimes begin to crumble under the nerve-wracking experiences their new job has for them – carrying out the responsibility is perhaps the number one reason why so many aspiring leaders begin questioning their own expertise shortly after taking upon their new role.

But fret not – with experience and effort also come knowledge and better judgment. The more first-time managers inform themselves and try their best to overcome the majority of obstacles right at the beginning of their newly-acquainted careers, the easier it would be for them later on.

So for now, let’s just observe some of the most common situations first-time managers stumble upon and what can they do when it comes to overcoming them effortlessly.

Beware of These 4 Most Common Obstacles for First-Time Managers

  • Abandon the idea that you know everything. Oftentimes people get so consumed by the idea that they got promoted that they believe they truly know everything and nothing would become an obstacle along the way. However, this happens not to be true in the long-term – the fact that you’ve been chosen for manager oftentimes means you have the needed qualities and expertise, as opposed to owning the entire arsenal of the know-how. Being a quick and flexible learner, it’s now the time to educate yourself even more on the subject of your work – avoid resting and consider you’ve got what it takes based on your previous experience.
  • It could be difficult having to people-manage your former colleagues. For you, this could be troublesome since it feels like just yesterday you were on the same team. Likewise, your peers might feel the same way – what’s important is for all of you to remember that you still are on the same team! Avoid bossing around and giving away orders just because you feel entitled; you’re not – you’re trusted for your expertise and it’s your job to make everyone else’s lives easier, not more difficult.
  • A common obstacle is not having someone to learn from. If that’s the case, then this could quickly turn into your biggest challenge. Usually, huge companies have many managers at their disposal and you could quickly follow their lead. However, if you’re part of a smaller company and no one in your department is a manager or a team leader, you might need to start from scratch and learn your own ways. Of course, this adds to the elevated feeling of pressure – and that’s one of the many obstacles first-time marketers need to face at the beginning of their newly-acquired career path. One thing you could opt for is to conduct research and find experts in the field who you can look up to – this way you can trust their expertise and learn from the best.
  • Another crucial moment is crafting a name for yourself as a team manager. More often than not, your team would need some time to look at you and see you as the professional expert they actually need in order for all work-related processes to run smoothly. That said, it would take time and effort on your behalf to prove your standpoints and management strengths – once you win your team over and achieve mutual respect and understanding, it’s then you’d begin to truly pick the fruits of your leading role as an expert.

I hope this short article would be able to help you get through the initial shock of getting promoted and see yourself in the role of a manager. I know how hard and stressful this entire journey might be but trust me on this – with the proper attitude, support and willingness to achieve amazing results, you’d quickly turn obstacles into strengths and abilities to overcome anything that comes at you.


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