I mentioned in earlier posts that I may have gotten a promotion-ish last week. The man in charge of our whole division said he envisioned me running my next project. I asked about training for such a position, and there happened to be supervisory training this week, so I was added to that list.
For background, I’ve been in this position less than a year. I have about 6 months of same-job experience prior to this position. In the 6 months at my last job, I was in an intern position, but I took on three projects at once, got great reviews, and won an award for my work there. In my current position, my boss is terrible at his job, and as a result I’ve been essentially managing-up this project since the beginning. Other supervisors have seen this and seen the work I do, and that’s why the head-guy is recommending I move to a supervisory role next time around.
On the surface, it looks like I have absolutely no place being in a supervisory role. I understand that, I really do. Honestly, I’m nervous about it – I have few examples of good leadership in this position to work off of, and it’s frightening. That said, I can’t turn down a promotional opportunity, even if it’s difficult, because that would be cowardly and stupid. You don’t pass up opportunities when they come by.
I haven’t explicitly told anyone at work that this discussion happened, but when I was added to the training, a popular, younger guy saw and I think he’s spread it around. He’s frustrated for his staff, and I understand that. There are at least 5 people, possibly 7-8, that have more experience in the field or have been at the agency longer and deserve to have this opportunity. Thing is, I can’t speak to their competence in the job since I haven’t worked with them, I don’t know how their managers rate them, and timing is 3/4 of everything. If I had a good manager right now, I’m sure I wouldn’t be getting this chance. It still isn’t 100% that I will, because it depends on so many other factors.
Today, young guy in my training was talking to the two men who sit near me (1 of which is very bright, but new to the type of work, the other of which has been with the agency for several years – neither of which has gotten to run their own project) about running projects and such. They were pointedly discussing the people who should get the chance, biding time, etc.
It’s frustrating, because it isn’t like I asked for the chance. I didn’t try to usurp the unspoken power dynamics at the office. I acknowledge that I’m relatively new to the field, my grade doesn’t even support the position responsibilities, and I have a lot to learn. That said, if they have faith in me to do it, and they’re willing to give me the chance, I’m going to take it. Who wouldn’t?
It isn’t like I won’t apply myself. I’ll take this training, read up on leadership books, thoroughly research the topic of the project, and meet with different levels of staff to set expectations and goals. I’ll look through as many prior project plans and processes as possible to understand the ideal. I’ll try to get everyone equally involved in the project.
I’m just worried that I’ll get assigned one of the staff members who feels they should have the position and everyone will hate me. Or, you know, that I’ll have to figure out objectives and a topic on my own instead of having one assigned, and I have no idea how to do that. Blerg.