July 30, 2009
Would you take a management job if offered one?
According to the tenth annual "World of Work" survey, published this month by international staffing firm Randstad, 49 percent of Americans polled offered a resounding "Heck no!"
Broken down by age and excuse, the results of this survey of 2,200 U.S. adults with enough experience to be promoted to management are as follows:
One in two Boomers (ages 45 to 63) would decline the promotion. Almost seven out of ten Matures (those over age 64) wouldn't want the job either.
As for rationale, 82 percent of respondents of all ages cited "increased stress" as the reason they'd rather not make the leap. And 63 percent of those polled cited the extra paperwork and having to layoff or fire staff as other deterrents.
Curiously, the survey's Generation Y respondents (those ages 18 to 29) had a different leading reason for wanting to steer clear of management roles: handling disenfranchised employees.
It's worth noting that this online survey was conducted during March and April of 2009. So the pesky matter of having to motivate the herd and balance the books despite ever-dwindling recessionary budgets may have played a part in respondents' reluctance to leap from direct report to supervisor. In fact, several people I know who earned the title of "boss" during the past year were handed the extra responsibility and pressure with nary a pay bump. Talk about lack of incentive.
What does all this mean for companies? More than half of the individuals polled by Randstad said there aren't enough capable managers where they work, and 45 percent said they anticipate a shortage of qualified managers in the years to come.
What's it going to take to convince more management-ready employees to make the leap to team leader? Not more power, not more money, and certainly not more spreadsheets, according to these survey respondents. Instead, 89 percent said they would thrive on mentoring others, and 85 percent said they'd enjoy having a greater hand in their organization's success and making key decisions.
How about you? If you were offered a managerial position tomorrow, what would your employer have to do to convince you to take it? Or would you snatch it up in a heartbeat?
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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