Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Manager

Our manager retired just about one year ago. I thought he was going on a long vacation, so he asked me to be acting manager. Then a week before he went on vacation, he announced his retirement. So, the Acting Manager position became an ongoing thing. It's been quite a learning curve since then.

I actually found that I enjoy management. A couple of years ago I knew I was starting to feel burned out on doing desktop support. All the skills that I had acquired organizing cultural events, participating in political campaigns, producing books and publications and strategical thinking from kali started coalescing together.

More recently, I applied for the permanent position and after 4 different interview sessions was given the position! whoo-hoo!

But I have to say, wow, what a time to be a new manager! Absolutely one of the most challenging situations I've been in with the budget crisis abound, but also getting in on some of the green IT projects that will save the campus hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's exciting every where you look!

At around the same time as the acting manager position, I entered a leadership development program on campus. We split into groups to work on various projects. Ours in the Green IT project, exploring how and why people adopt technology. It's quite fascinating, getting this in depth view of the campus workings. Our project is in its last weeks and it's a crazy crush of work.

For more of my group, Green IT will end with the end of this project, and for me it will only be the beginning as I've been tasked to find a way to develop ways in which the campus will adopt these technologies that will hopefully save the campus hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

I had to talk to my staff today about how the budget situation will play out for us. There are alot of questions I just don't know the answer to. And I had to tell them, I just don't know. All I know is that it's bad, and really really bad, like never seen it this bad before. All I can do is to keep them as informed as possible on the changing landscape. It's certainly not an easy time to be a manager, much less step into a brand new managerial position. At the same time, the amount of hands on experience I am getting while learning on the fly is astonishing. It takes alot of focus and concentration, planning and replanning and then preparing the staff to be ready for who knows what. No one can guarantee anyone a job, what you can give them is that you'll treat them with as much honor and respect as you can.

There are always lessons to be learned. And in rough economic times, one is tested on how well you've learned those lessons.

No comments: