Balancing act: Thanks, bosses, for unexpected opportunities

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15 2013 8:00 a.m. MDT

I found this interesting, but not surprising. As a manager, I agree that the additional pay that usually comes along with such jobs is great, but if you hate the work, it isn't worth the money.

Of the respondents to the Robert Half survey who said they preferred to work as individual contributors, 61 percent said they liked hands-on work more than directing others; 20 percent said they disliked the politics and personalities involved in managing other people; and 11 percent said they were afraid their skills would become outdated if they didn't use them regularly.

Again, I can relate. Many times during my years as a manager, especially in my first few editor jobs, I would find myself wishing for a return to my life as a reporter. I missed the fun of interviewing interesting people and the rush of writing a major story on a tight deadline. And I remembered how nice it was to be responsible only for myself.

I've also worried about losing whatever writing skills I may possess, which is why I'm glad I've continued producing this column even after leaving my full-time career as a journalist. I'm not saying my prose is going to change the world, but I do appreciate a weekly deadline that forces me to write.

And despite my occasional pining for life as a reporter, I wouldn't trade my management job now for a return to those days. For me, helping other people complete tasks, overcome obstacles and succeed is just as challenging and fulfilling as bagging an exclusive interview or wrapping up a deadline story.

And even as I'm grateful for my own job, I'm glad I've had some excellent bosses over the years who have supported and mentored me and helped me succeed.

Since Wednesday is Boss's Day, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for them and their influence on my career. I've learned over the years just how hard it is to be a supervisor. Thanks for taking your own paths to management and helping me find mine.

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