Struggles of a Young Manager
Anybody that knows me can probably agree when I say this, but management is my calling. From a very young age, I was always the kid in the neighborhood that would put together backyard football games, manhunt nights, scooter races, and all that other fun stuff. If the neighborhood kids were getting together, odds are I was behind the function.
Behind finding a woman who willingly chooses to spend the rest of her life with me, being accepted into multiple four-year universities has been the biggest shock of my life. Coming into college, I decided to Major in Sport Management. I loved sports, always have, and likely always will. Hell, that's why I started this website. In my sophomore year, I was presented with a path to double major in Marketing, which was an easy decision.
Majoring in Marketing has done two things for me: good and bad. The good thing about having that degree is it has opened up so many opportunities for me, nearly all of which I have taken. The bad thing about it is that it has presented me with such good opportunities that it has distracted me from pursuing my career in sports, which is another reason I started this website, so I could always pursue my sports career in some way, shape or form, in my own way.
I am grateful for every opportunity that has been presented to me. Each opportunity has allowed me to put a roof over me and my fiancee's heads, put food in our bellies, and have a comfortable bed to sleep in.
Upon graduating, I spent maybe a month outside of a management position. It's been a little over a year since entering the workforce full-time, and I have learned a lot in my young career.
The biggest struggle I have faced as a 22-23 year-old-manager is earning the respect of those older than me who have been in the workforce for some time, including those who hired me. In every interview I have entered, I have made it clear that I was going into that respective position with little to no experience and that I wanted to learn from those with more experience than me.
Some I worked for understood this mentality and took me well under their wing, teaching me all they could and giving me the experience needed to increase my value. Unfortunately, there were others who, from my perspective, hired me on simply to give me the garbage work they didn't want to do. Tedious, time-consuming task with little to no intention to assist in my growth eventually drained me to a point where I would have taken nearly anything else just to get out of there.
I've heard the statement, the grass is not greener on the other side. It's greener where you water it. I mostly agree with this statement, but when you're given 100 acres of land to water and management gives you a 16-ounce bottle of water and expects the entire field to be green by the end of the hour, and if that doesn't get accomplished that 16-ounce bottle turns into an 8-ounce can, the grass will never be greener.
It took some time to find a place where I felt I had been given the right amount of water to water the entire field, and if for some reason I miss a spot in that field, it's acknowledged by the water supplier and myself then the mistake is corrected.
There are two types of people I want to take something away from this analogy. For those just entering a management position, advocate for yourself, find a place that understands your inexperience, understand that you don't know it all, and learn something from everyone. To those in a management position, give inexperienced hires the tools they need to succeed and be patient as they learn their role. The more support you give them, they will become better and more independent employees for it.
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Dawson A. Haywood