This Millennial Manager is a blog about my journey of learning to lead people and creating a workplace that reflects the values and needs of a growing workforce of Millennials and Gen Z professionals. I write about mainstream leadership theories, personality frameworks, common personnel conundrums, and everything in between, with the occasional book review. Follow along if you are a manager or hope to be someday.
How I became a manager
On June 1st, 2020, I was promoted to my first real leadership position, after only 6 months at a new company. I had supervised interns and mentored less experienced colleagues in previous positions, but I’d never had the official title (and responsibilities) of a manager.
When asked if I’d ever considered a management position in the past, I replied affirmatively, but usually vaguely. “I see myself managing people one day,” I’d say. But the truth was, I’d never actively asked about promotions or advancement opportunities. Especially not since at that time, I was only a few months in.
Although I was new to the company, I was not new to my industry nor to my area of expertise. I work in marketing for a tech company and have held several relevant positions at highly respected companies. Over the past 10 years, I’ve developed my skills, gained experience, and grown my network of influence. But being good at your job doesn’t mean you’ll be a natural at managing people. I had loads of assurance in my abilities as a marketer but I was a little less confident about earning the respect and trust of a team of professionals I considered equally talented, if not more.
My approach to leadership
My posture going into leadership was one of humble curiosity. Fast-forward one year and I’ve learned so much about hiring, people management, and career growth —both for myself and each individual contributor on my team. In fact, shortly after launching this blog, I was promoted again to lead my department, which meant tripling my headcount and joining the Executive team. Becoming an executive by age 30 was not exactly in my plans, but I’ve loved every minute.
My perspectives are ever-changing as I acquire more first-hand experience and knowledge through books, podcasts, articles, courses, and mentorship.
My experiences may be primarily in a distributed work environment in the tech industry, but I believe the lessons can be applied to any workplace or organizational context.
Thank you for joining me on this journey,