ICMA Career Compass #60: I Don’t Like My Mid-Manager Job!

ICMA Career Compass #60: I Don’t Like My Mid-Manager Job!

Frank is back with a new Career Compass post: I Don’t Like My Mid-Manager Job!

Franks receives a question from a Project Manager and has some solutions to his problem:

I’m a mid-manager supervising an engineering/capital projects group. I was promoted into this role two years ago. While I am good at overseeing the work plan, pushing out the work, and holding people accountable, I am not enjoying the position.

Our capital projects take a long time to complete. When we are in the midst of one effort or another, my group gets called upon to take on another “priority” project or respond to some demand or challenge from a higher-up. For my team and me, it’s endless and, therefore, difficult to stay motivated.

In addition, there’s a lot of change happening in our organization with respect to new priorities, systems, and ways of doing things. Top management is always leaning on mid-managers to communicate the change and make it happen.

I always seem to be in the middle, with my public works director making constant demands and our group members demanding support and resources. It’s difficult to be caught in the middle. Moreover, I don’t feel that the role of mid-manager gets much respect from top management. And I don’t sense that those below me fully appreciate the role.

To make matters worse, I feel lonely at work. I have a family that I cherish but I spend most of my waking hours on the job. I used to be one of the team members but now that I’m a manager I have no close social relationships with those in my group. I try to provide support but I don’t get any.

Can you help me figure this out?

Read Frank’s response I Don’t Like My Mid-Manager Job!

 

Sponsored by the ICMA Coaching Program, Career Compass is a monthly column from ICMA focused on career issues for local government professional staff. Dr. Frank Benest is ICMA’s liaison for Next Generation Initiatives and resides in Palo Alto, California. If you have a career question you would like addressed in a future Career Compass, e-mail careers@icma.org or contact Frank directly at frank@frankbenest.com. Read past columns at icma.org/careercompass.