Growing up as a first-generation American, I’ve become used to hearing how management is an aspirational role to find yourself in one day. These are some of the words I’ve heard used to describe a manager:

  • Power
  • Leader
  • Control
  • Money
  • Respect  

But when I became a manager last year, these weren’t exactly the first words to come to mind. Things sounded a lot more like this:

  • Lonely
  • Tough
  • Fulfulling
  • Fear
  • Rewarding  

I’d like to double-click on the first word: Becoming manager can be a lonelier place than one might think. Suddenly you find yourself trying to impress your boss and want to show him/her that you can be trusted and can handle this new responsibility. At the same time, you want your direct reports to similarly trust you and hold you accountable for their careers.

I was lucky enough to work at HubSpot, where we have a full-fledge management training curriculum. This connected me with other managers sharing the same first-time management jitters and gave me the knowledge and skills to succeed as a manager. Knowing I wasn’t alone made the entire experience a little less lonely and a lot more rewarding. 

But I didn’t want to keep all our realization a secret … so for those of you on the path to management, I spoke with seven new managers who have been in their first management role for a year or less. They’ve got a boatload of fresh insights from on the job, so clickthrough the following SlideShare for their full responses or skim the summary of quotes below. 

"Becoming a manager makes you feel like you're trying to be a hip parent."
-Angie O'Dowd; Manager, Channel Marketing 
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"Becoming a manager requires you to hone your question-asking skills a lot."
-Jeff Love; Manager, Customer Success
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"You’re suddenly given responsibility to guide & develop someone in their career."
-Rachel Sprung; Manager, Customer Demand
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"Your direct reports expect you to perform at a high-level immediately."
-Greg Brown; Manager, Sales
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"[Managing] can make you feel as if you have split personality disorder!"
-Emma Brudner; Section Editor, HubSpot Sales Blog
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"A sort of hero and even imposter syndrome can set in." 
-Bill Goodrich; Tech Lead, Engineering
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"Managing people is not intuitive."
-Irina Rosenbilt; Manager, Partner Services
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"I had no freaking clue how hard it would be to know how well you're doing your job."
-Ginny Soskey; Manager, Content Marketing Strategy
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Originally published Mar 29, 2016 11:35:45 AM, updated March 29 2016