I think I did the right thing today. I’m pretty sure I did. I feel a little ambivalent about it though.
Earlier this year, I decided to initiate some changes at my place of employment. My goal was to oust my almost non-existent manager and take his place. I am the second in command in our group, after this manager whom we share with another department.
Today I met with our accountant and one of the other women in the group. I recommended this other woman for management over myself. I believe that she will do a better job than I. I have a definite skill set, and am really quite good at the things I do, but I think M will make a better manager. Not in the people skills area, because I excel at that, but on the business side of the business. M has great skills in things like contract negotiation, super attention to detail, organization and coordination of effort… you know, businessy business. I’m better at people and words and schmoozing. And, she will need me to schmooze this position into existence.
The other part of the equation is related to time and age. M is younger than I am, by at least 15 years. Add to that the fact that I intend to retire* in three years, and I’d rather have her jump through the hoops. I will help her in any way I can, and will put my effort into helping her create the position, but after considerable consideration I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want the job.
The ambivalence comes in, I guess, because I have been doing the job of the manager for quite a few years and have not been adequately compensated for it. I have spent a lot of time and energy making our department better. I have assembled a team of outstanding employees. I have eliminated redundancies, streamlined processes, fitted the right person with the right tasks, and generally kept things both efficient and serene. I’ve been the manager. I’ve just never been paid to be the manager. I would have liked to have had the salary.
Overall, I believe that it is the right decision.
*I say 'retire' but in fact it will be a big shift. I’ll be 55, I’ll have 20 years into the retirement system, but I won’t get enough money to live on. I’ll have to continue to work but I am looking forward to doing some work that interests me, and preferably part time. The funny thing is, yesterday, in the early morning fitness class that I take, the head of my martial art school, upon hearing that I would retire in three years, said that she would love to hire me to be her administrator. So, already things are realigning to this new idea.
That makes me happy.