When I first graduated from college, like most naive kids I thought I was going to be much like Pinky and the Brain, and take over the world. By the time I was 40, I thought I would be a big time bank branch manager with a staff, making long money. I never aspired to be CEO, but I’d be damn close to it! 🙂

Of course, life never turns out quite like you expected. I’ve got quite a bit of good experience in my years in Corporate America and I am definitely a senior level professional, but I’m not in management. Part of of that is circumstance, I’ve worked at several different companies and my tenures haven’t been particularly long but part of it is by design, I’ve seen what my friends who manage people have to deal with and I’d rather herd cats. Managing people and getting them to execute is more than a notion. I wouldn’t mind being a manager, as long as managing people doesn’t come along with it. I do have friends who have those titles. But as long as I can continue to get paid well, I’m good with being on the professional track. I guess I adjusted my level of ambition over the years. *shrugs*

What about you? Are you where you want to be career wise? Are you a manager? Or are you pretty good with what you are doing and where you are at??

15 thoughts on “Ambition

  1. I am a manager of 11 and everyday I have to center myself and check to make sure there is bail money…just in case.

    It’s through managing people that I realized that people are lazy, dumb and stupid.

    My next role is going to an individual contributor.

    I have have had the same role for 5 years but they have added people and responsibility. It’s not where I want to be but I am comfy. We have gone through so many layoffs that I am skittish. I need to make a change but that change will have me in Chicago and I like Atlanta!

  2. I feel like I’m well on my way to where I ultimately want to be. I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer. I never wanted to be in court. My old position kept me in court more than I cared to be. Now, I don’t have to be in court and I’m in academics where I love it. Now that I’m here, I’ve got my sights set on becoming a Dean. Writing my vision.

  3. I like where I am, though I didn’t plan to end up in academia. (Even though I have a Ph.D-go figure) I don’t know if I want to stay in academia though.

  4. I don’t know where I belong anymore. I was a Manager, but thankfully only had one person to supervise. Unfortunately, budget cuts eliminated my position and then took a 10% pay cut on top of that so I was thrown backwards about 8 years in terms of position and pay. No bueno.
    I also have a little side hustle doing makeup, which has helped me maintain my sanity, but I don’t know if this should remain a side gig or if I should switch my focus and try to make this more of a main gig.
    In the meanwhile, I keep talking to God, rewriting my resume and spending serious time on the job boards.

  5. I want to accomplish more in my current profession and expand to different business that I can leave to my children. If I keep living I know I will accomplish more.

    I currently have 6 team members in my boutique practice. I don’t manage people. I manage my business. My husband develops and manages the systems and I lead the team. I don’t think any one on my team feels managed, they feel supported. I operate from the perspective that everyone in my firm may one day go into their own business and I want them to have the background and confidence to make it happen. I figure everyone is like me and wants to own their work and I would only work somewhere that allowed me to grow to that goal. My role is one of removing obstacles to allow my team to work, and I don’t have to prod anyone to
    Work. My team members actually make me grow because I have to keep pushing to grow the business so everyone has work.

  6. Yea, so the “herding of cats” almost made me choke! LMAOOOO! I’m not exactly where I want to be career wise. I’m in social services but I want to be in the correctional aspect of social services. (It’s what my degrees are in). I made myself a promise that in 2013, I would get to where I want to be career wise. I absolutely CAN NOT imagine doing what I’m doing for the duration (Dear Lawd, PLEASE hear my cry!!!) I am NOT a manager. I don’t want to manage anyone but my family.

  7. I am a leader not a manager. I don’t want to know or even care about folks being late or needing time off etc., I want to do great work and innovate.

  8. I recently became a manager that doesn’t manage people. I manage a program. It’s the brass ring as far as I’m concerned. LOL.
    I had a rock star career in the sports industry but through some missteps of my own, I’m no longer in that field. I started doing extra work on TV and movies and it’s starting to turn into something more permanent, but since I do desire to have a husband and kids one day, 12 hour days and a unpredictable schedule is not the direction I should look to move right now. The days can be long, exhausting and boring, but I still really enjoy the work.
    I like my current job too. I love that I am a manager, I love that it gives me flexiblity like working from home (like now lol). Other than the fact that I’ve been seeing layoffs left and right, I’d like to stay and build up some tenure and possibly move up the chain. Like you, I’ve had some job movement (every 2-3 years) and I really need to sit down somewhere and just work for a minute. It’s a bonus that I find my work rewarding and believe in it’s mission. Up my pay a little more and I might never leave.

  9. I was a supervisor when I worked in City Gov’t. It wasn’t really bad. I always had good people, some stange as hell, but all good folk. And in City Gov’t I could still be an Engineer who actually did some engineering. As a Fed, no way in this world do I EVER want to manage anyone but myself. I like to manage projects, and programs, people get on my nerves. Plus I skirt around the rules alot, that doesn’t make for a good manager.

  10. Love the updates to the site!

    I’m not where I want to be career-wise. Part of my problem is I’m not even sure where I want to be. My position is a thankless job with great pay. It has been a means to an end so that I can properly raise my daughter. I’m thankful for that. Currently I’m spending more time working on myself in the hopes that I discover what I’m truly passionate about and determine my career path. Like innerdiva, I can’t afford to do it right now but I pray I will in the future.

  11. “I wouldn’t mind being a manager, as long as managing people doesn’t come along with it.”

    Yes gawd honey!! This is me all day long. I have no patience to babysit other people or their work.

  12. Not “herd cats!” LMAOOOOOO! That made morning.

    Years ago, one of the senior reps I worked with would always say, “I don’t want to manage people. I just want to be in charge of me.” The longer I’m in this industry, I understand what she meant. Although, she did end up taking a management role years later.

    I thought I wanted to manage, but after my yearly review, I decided that I’d rather take the path of improving my technical skills. One off the reasons I decided that was because I even under managers who didn’t seem to know anything, and if I’m going to manage someone, I’d like to know what they know, at the very least. LOL!

    Like you, my focus has changed, but I don’t equate it to lacking ambition. More like knowing yourself better and what works for your life. 🙂

    • I agree with this. It has nothing to do with lacking ambition. It’s about figuring out what’s best for you and your life. I love being able to walk away from work and not have to constantly be plugged in. I’m cool with the occassional work from home at night or weekend but every.single.minute having to respond to emails and problems. That’s not the life I want. Our VP is always responding. it’s normal for us to get emails all times of the day and night from her. The chick doesn’t sleep for worrying and thinking about things regarding work. I’ll pass!

  13. A-MEN! I have been a manager with a couple of different companies more in my early thirties and it was like babysitting. I have a manager title with my current employer and I only had one employee that reported directly to me. That heffa was the absolute worst and the most difficult person ever. It was a horrible experience. I basically ended up having to tell her she should find another job and she left before we had to fire her. After that, I realized I never want to deal with people again. My company is going through some changes now and I just pray that things don’t shift to where I have to manage people again. I’m fine managing processes like I do now. The people have a manager they report to and I just tell them what they’re supposed to be doing. As long as I made a decent salary to cover my needs and some wants, I’m straight.

  14. I’m nowhere near where I want to be. I’m an administrator hoping to move up the ladder, but my professional background doesn’t focus on one area-I have HR and payroll experience. I’m not satisfied, but it pays the bills. With two children, I can’t afford to determine my career path right now.

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