4 Ideas To Consider Prior to Becoming a Manager at a Law Firm

If you’re trying to advance your career within your firm and you’re thinking about management, there’s a lot to consider. Being a people manager is an entirely different set of skills from any other job within a firm even if you’re working on the same projects. Here are a few notions to consider as you think about making the leap to management.

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4 Ideas To Consider Prior to Becoming a Manager at a Law Firm

You’re Comfortable Empowering Others

Although being a manager means you have authority over your team, it doesn’t give you permission to be a micromanager. Although it might seem backwards, being an effective manager very often means trusting your team will do their best work by themselves. This means you’ll be better off focusing on empowering their habits while also releasing your control over the results.

This mentality should also come with the knowledge that your way of conducting business is not necessarily the best way for everyone on your team. Allow your team members to think for themselves. Your job is to support them, trust and respect their work, but never to do their job for them.

You're Ready For Difficult Conversations

Although there are a ton of rewarding aspects about being a manager, you will have to deal with some difficult situations. Your team needs positive and constructive feedback, and you might even need to fire someone. This responsibility is yours alone, so it requires a certain amount of tactfulness and emotional intelligence to maintain both the decorum and culture your team deserves. 

This also means you’ll have to make difficult high-level decisions for the greater good of your team. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, or something needs to be re-assessed, it’s your job to handle that. 

You Desire More General Responsibility

Before becoming a manager, your responsibility is strictly over your own workload and career path. When you become a manager, your responsibilities grow to include anything and everything needed to keep your team running smoothly. Not only are you responsible for the growth of each individual team member, but you’re also responsible for anything that goes wrong.

Remember, being a manager isn’t about your career, but about helping those on your team. If this is not your priority, you might reconsider your application to be a manager.

Building Relationships and Cohesive Culture is What Makes You Excited

You’re your team’s leader and representative, which also means your work and that of your teams’ will be more visible than when you weren’t a manager. The way you work, your results, the resources used, and team relationships will all be a part of regular review. The success of all of these requires strong, healthy working relationships with other teams, and often the ability to liaise when needed. 

If more meetings, and working on these relationships does not appeal to you, you may think about staying out of management. However, if the thought of you and your peers working together to make sure the entire firm is supported, then becoming a manager may be a good move.

Ultimately, understanding your strengths and weaknesses and thinking more about the work at hand rather than the accolades or additions to your resume, is what’s required prior to taking on a management role. Take your time with this decision and be true to yourself.