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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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01/21/08
Interview Response: Desire to move into management
Filed under: Interviewing, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Leadership
Posted by: site admin @ 12:52 pm

Last week engaged me in another terrific PfLAGS
workshop at the University of Maryland.  It was
principally conducted by J. Shulman. 
[Grad students: 
If you do not know about this, search for it on
ACS web-site. 
If you know about it and it is available to you,
really consider attending it. 
If you know about it and want to have it at your
school or in your region, contact C. Kuniyoshi
at ACS– c_kuniyoshi@acs.org .]

One of the forward looking students responded
to one of my initial questions:
what are you seeking; what do you want to go
into?
Response:  “I really want to get into management
because I really get frustrated when my research
doesn’t go well and I am a good ‘people person.’”

That was a type of response that I recall hearing
a few times before.

Peeling the onion back a little, I asked her, Where
did you get the sense that you should go in this
management direction?
Response:  “My boss observed me and noticed
that I lose my motivation when my research work
gets stuck, not producing results.  He suggested that
since this happens, I should seek management
positions…”

My intention will not be to caste aspersions in
any direction. 

Management is a very hard responsibility, just
like research, engineering, development, operations,
sales and maintenance are.  It is important to
value all these roles and the people performing
them.  What job seekers need to be pursuing
are roles that you can be proud and happy doing
and match your skills, abilities and talents.

Management many times requires advanced
skill sets in
  -decision-making,
  -writing compelling documents,
  -listening attentively to what is said
and other messages given often by how things are
said and what is not said.

For each of these, doesn’t  it seem not enough to
be a “good people person?”

Going along with the skill sets, management is
performed in different manners depending
upon the focus– that is, goals, methods and
constituencies.  For example,
 
  - technology portfolio management which
prioritizes and balances projects and resources
(which includes people, money, time, etc.)

  - operations management

  - technical project management

  - innovation management

  - technical alliance management

S. Banjo wrote about how new employees
need to observe, learn, communicate
and perform reality checks in her article,
“Fast track strategies for rising to the top.”
[Google S Banjo and topic to get articles,
links to WSJ do not function.]

The anecdotes mentioned in the article
highlight performing intelligently in getting
tasks done and implemented.

J. S. Lubin
wrote about recognizing the
importance of coming up to speed quickly
and working closely with one’s boss while
confidently developing the necessary skills,
abilities and experiences that will be needed.
[Google J. Lubin and topic to get article.]


How does one learn what is needed? 
Observation, mentoring, and information
interviewing.  All things we have mentioned
before.

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