For the next month I’m going to be in uncharted territory. There are so many potential words to describe it but I’m going to stick with “interesting.” It’s going to be a whole lot of feeling like this:
Allow me to explain…
About two weeks ago my manager confirmed a rumor that my supervisor had whispered to me. They are talking about and developing their succession plan and it appears that my name is being tossed around as a candidate to replace my manager upon her retirement. It made me feel great to know that my name is in the bucket for consideration but it is also quite intimidating.
Why? Allow me to explain again…
I work for a local government agency. The hierarchy at work essentially goes like this right now – CSR, Lead (me), Supervisor (there are two), Manager. If I am awarded this promotion I would skip over my Supervisor (who is not in consideration for the promotion as she has made it very clear that she is not interested and will be pursuing a demotion once her children graduate college) and become the department manager. I would then be in charge of approximately 42 people in 7 smaller departments. I would also be a first-time manager. I’ve worked here for six years, I know these departments inside and out, I know I’m awesome and completely competent and I have no doubt whatsoever that I could do the job but it’s still like, “Woah.” When my manager first mentioned it to me she said she expects to be out for at least six weeks beginning in February at which time she anticipates that I would fill in during her absence. Between now and February I am expected to “shadow” her to learn her job functions and responsibilities.
And it all starts tomorrow.
Today I received an e-mail that tomorrow morning is the first big budget meeting and I am required to attend along with my manager. We will be meeting with other management and our Finance director. I’ve worked on budget for individual projects but never for the entire department. I have another big meeting scheduled for January 7th with department managers from all across the county. I’ll be fine but there is a wee bit of intimidation. It is the same feeling I had before I made my first big presentation to our Board or before I taught my first big training class. It’s anxious nerves not a lack of confidence. I know I can do it. It’s just new.
The advice has also already started.
The first advice she gave to me was, “Make the right friends. It’s all politics.”
That it is too. It’s all one big political game.