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Letters to a Young Manager

Taking the Wrong Job, #16
LTYM > Managing People II

Dear Sophie,
You've been offered a promotion. Great! But you're uncertain, it's not what you like doing most.

I was once offered a district sales manager job, that covered branch offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I had been a successful consultant manger, and the year before our branch came out on top, at 153% of quota [1]. So helping revenue grow in the west seemed like a good strategy. Except for one small matter: I didn't like making sales calls. I liked delivering and showing off the technical solutions. But the position was a prestigious one, and a clear step up the corporate ladder. So I took it and moved across the country. Within two years, I was aching for a job more anchored in IT. I had a good network of contacts, and soon took a job with another company.

This was a lesson learned for me, but also for the organization. Sales leadership needs the "sales gene" just as technology leadership needs the "tech gene". Yes, people learn and grow. But know which gene you have as your base of strength.

Let me know what you decide, and more importantly, why.

(See the "Wine Bet")


Doing something you don't like to do is not a way to move up

Discussion Questions:

1) What parts of your job do you like the most? the least?
2) What's the career path for people with you strengths?
3) What things do you need to learn to round out your skills?

For Further Reading:

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