Transitioning to management: What are the differences?

managing a team

Recently, I’ve taken the next step in my career at Embryo, having been promoted from the position of Content Executive to Content Account Manager; it’s a really exciting change and something that I definitely felt ready for, but as with any step forward, there’s a degree of unknown and uncertainty that falls within the move. That’s what spurred me to put this blog together – I’m certainly not the first person to take an internal promotion that results in management responsibilities, so I thought it may be useful to share my experience so far, from all aspects. Of course, my experience will likely be very different to that of your own, so if you’d like to chat about that or leave me your thoughts and advice, be sure to drop a comment on my recent LinkedIn post!

Taking the step up

I’ve worked in content for over 6 years now, at 3 different companies, and I’ve experienced both in-house and agency roles in that time, so I like to think that I’m quite well-versed in the role that content can play in a range of different strategies, as well as how to write content to suit those different strategies too. However, I’ve never actually directly managed another member of staff before, so when I was offered my new role here at Embryo, it was a new challenge for me, and one that I was extremely excited by. So far, I’m 1 month into my management journey, and it’s fair to say that there are a few things that stick out to me as being very different than they were before. The first thing is, obviously, the added responsibility of having a direct report; it’s not something I’d experience before, but something I was quite confident I’d be able to do, as a very sociable people’s person. On top of the 1-to-1 aspect of this, there has also been a lot of additional support that I’ve been offering too – as an executive, I was offering support as and where I felt I had the expertise to offer some value, but as the direct line manager of a member of staff, I’m now the first point of contact for any questions, which is a unique feeling, but one that’s really enjoyable. By being able to offer direct advice to our new team members, I feel like I’m having a bigger impact on the way that they operate, encouraging them to become more comfortable with Embryo’s processes and work environment.

embryo slogan

Supporting your team

For me, supporting team members has been the most enjoyable part of my role as a manger to date – I love helping people and having the chance to directly do this as part of my role is a fantastic development for me professionally. It’s been great taking people who are completely new to Embryo’s way of working and showing them the ropes – I remember learning my own tricks of the trade as I was doing so, and it’s amazing to be able to pass on that knowledge to our next group of hotshot content writers. On top of this, I’ve also really found a surprise enjoyment in the problem-solving aspect of my role too; being able to assist people in finding the best solution in tricky situations, or simply being the voice of reason during times of confusion has been a brilliant experience for me and one that’s definitely helped me to grow personally and professionally.

From my point of view, being a manager has a few key pillars to follow that are quite different to those as an executive – here are some of the things I’ve picked up on so far:

  1. Organisation is one of your biggest assets – Whilst I’ve always considered myself to be organised on a personal level, moving into management has definitely solidified the importance of good preparation and excellent organisation. Without knowing what I need, who I’m speaking to, and why I’m doing something, I feel as though I’m working in a way that isn’t really productive enough, which is why I’ve upped my note-taking game, started to organise more internal meetings for progress-reporting and general catch-ups, and more regular reporting up to my managers too.
  1. Being approachable matter – As a manager, you need to be someone that your team wants to talk to and open up to, whether that’s regarding new ideas that they have, or issues that they’re currently facing. By being friendly, approachable, and constructive when you talk to your team members, you start to forge a trusting relationship where you can talk more openly, identify problems easily, and work together to resolve things in the best possible manner.
  1. Be contactable – This seems an obvious one, but if you’ve got members of staff who may need to get in touch with you at any given moment, it’s important to remain contactable throughout your working hours. Whether that’s being active on an instant messaging service, keeping your alerts on for group chats, or having your phone by your side at all time, these little steps make it much easier for your team to get hold of you when needed.
  1. Let everyone ask questions as often as they need to – Asking questions is a natural part of your professional life and if you’re striving to get better at what you do, you need to be asking questions whenever they arise. It’s easy to feel apprehensive about asking questions through the fear of feeling like it’s something that you should already know. For my team members, it’s really clear that I’ll always be on hand for any questions, and that asking them isn’t a hindrance, but a welcome opportunity to help them learn and grow.

If you’re interested in joining the ever-growing team here at Embryo, either in our content team or beyond, you can check out our available positions right here on our website!