BLUF: Is it time to try for a management job or am I still too "green"? (I'm 28, 2 years into the workforce, 8 month in current organization)


Here my situation. I'm 28, been in the workforce full time for over 2 years now. I have a MBA and an engineering degree. Both in IT. I've been with my current employer for 8 months. Currently an analyst but I quickly was delegated some of my boss responsabilities. I feel that I am doing roughly 125% to 150% of my job.

A new VP arrived a 3 month ago, thus a restructuration occured. Three manager positions opened. Two of those were way over what I feel I can deliver (thinking about it give me virtigo, as if I was to jump from a plane and a 25 meter platform respectively). The last one is different, much more like a 3 meter jump into a pool.

Problem is, I haven't been here 18 months yet. Trying for that job might hurt might hard-earned credibility. 

I'm not sure how well, , but I think my name is known by most managers of the VP. Some even call me "Mr. Marvellous" because I wish people "A marvellous day" pretty much every single day.

If I was to get the job, let's just say it would lower the managers' average age by quite a bit around here.

So, I have the diplomas to be a manager, a reputation that I deliver what I am tasked to and more, people seem to like me and the opportunity seems to be there.

Yet, I'm quite younger than most, new to the organization and my technical skills aren't on the top tier.

So, would it be galacticaly stupid to send my resume and go for it?

I can't seem to be able to weight the risk, should that be a sign that I'm not ready?

Should the fact that I know that I don't know the actual risk be a sign that I'm ready?

Alexos's picture

 I have listened to podcasts for awhile and browsed forum, but never felt needed to post.  But some parts of your post seemed so similar to my experiences.

Context: Currently Manager. Work at global Fortune 100 company, financial services. Bachelors+Masters in Engineering (not computer sci, think modeling/optimization). 27 years old.  In company for about 3 years total, fresh from university. I was in peer level to managers for 6 months (project manager) before "promoted" to manager, now for about 4 months.  Some of my team are older than me; I am younger than my peers and leadership by 10-20 yrs.
Going to throw out some comparisons, thoughts, and things to consider.
1. Do you have 1:1 with your leader or touchbases?  If this was me, I would seek their input or counsel. (culture here is to support and dev your ppl)
2. Expanding on above... do you have any mentors or other trusted individuals you could do same?
You need to be mindful of gauging the internal culture, expectations, policies, etc that your company + dept/group has.  What is your normal for others might be taboo for your's.
3. In our company, there is an unwriten rule of 18 mo to position.  this is typically waived/disregarded when (a) the move is w/in same team, or (b) your leader agrees to it. 
4.  if you were in my group wanting a promo after just several months, my gut rection and consensus of other leaders would be "lol... ballsy... expectations are not aligned".  namely becuse it is against norm, and becuse it may not be enough time to really have demonstratable results to warrant jumping to the next level.
5. dont stress age. though it is a factor to be mindful of (do you change your approah? etc).  in my group, promotions hve nothing to do with age or tenure, it is entirely driven by:
-quantifiable/tangible results
-demonstrated potential
-your brand/reputation
-the relationships/networks youve estblished (promoters, sponsors)
6. do you have any related experience to being a people leader?  our group likes to see someone demonstrate competency before getting promoted (special assignments, expanded role, new responibilities, delegation from boss, etc).  for exæmple, before my promotion to officially lead, i was already indirectly leading multiple global project teams, leading a portfolio of projects (w diff reources), and owning various programs.
7. do you believe and confident you are qualified?  here you come across nervous and unsure.  it is ok to feel uncertain about some elements... but you really should feel positive and believe in yourself. (if you cant, why should they?)
8.  do you really want to be a people leader (manager) and lead a team? or do you just want to move up, make more money, etc?  there may be otherpromotional positions to consider that lead to being a manager or are parallel, to it.
best wishes!
(apologies for typos, on tablet)

Mashuu's picture

Thank you for you reply,

Bottom line: I did not apply. You were right about me feeling unsure. Reason was that I saw an opportunity to get what I want but my spider sense was telling me that there was tremendous risk to go for it. I was wondering if I was just cowering in fear or it was experience finally kicking in. Was the latter.

That position was to be opened for formality. My boss, with whom I can talk career (and with who I have "professional updates") and is helpful, comfirmed it. I would have burned through my capital too soon.

For the rest of the points, while I am mindful of them and already aware of them, they are presented in such a great way that I printed them out and put them in my delta file. That will be such a great help to go across that list every time I consider taking a risk.

Thanks you again and a marvellous day to you!

(aplologies for structure of language, not english native.)