One of my greatest criticisms of my previous employers throughout my career was that they put people in management that had no management training. The roles were picked haphazardly and it had to do with willingness to lead, rather than capability. I am in week three of my new management position, now look who is wearing the asshat.
I leaned on the fact that I have natural leadership qualities, experience in education, and writing abilities. As it turns out, managing is a complicated dance with the employees, system capabilities, money, and time….and that gosh darn computer. I am learning that a significant part of my job thus far managing the PAs and NPs for eleven urgent cares requires learning computer programs. Lots and lots of computer programs. Scheduling, reimbursements, badge access, benefits…they all require skills and knowledge of different programs. I am not a dummy, but the technical stuff is a little overwhelming right now.
Also, turns out that managing people requires the ability to adapt and connect with each one on their level. Somehow, I am supposed to meet with and get to know 40 different people, with different schedules, different temperaments, and different levels of disdain for their leadership team. Its difficult finding the right “tone” or body language to use when trying to build up a relationship of mutual respect. I know I’m the new guy in town. I know I am young, beautiful and intimidating. So the tricky thing is to try and be in a balance between advocacy and cracking the whip.
Luckily, the company I am working for is very supportive and giving me tons of training. My career is changing and I am learning a new skill set that is very different from the one I use in the ER. But, as it turns out, the PA world is indeed very small and I have run into numerous people that I worked with in my previous places of employment. That makes site visits more like a reunion rather than a meet and greet.
My final issue with this new management position is that wearing my pajamas to work everyday is no longer an option. I miss my scrubs desperately. The items in my closet are a mismatch of old collared shirts that are definitely a shout out to my previous obsession with the fashion seen on “Friends”. Jennifer Aniston has nothing on me. I honestly feel ridiculous in some of my outfits, but the wardrobe will be upgraded once all my kids have their school supplies and clothes. Sigh.
One aspect of working part time in management that I really like is the flexibility to continue working clinically in the ER. That’s right, I couldn’t cut the umbilical cord. My career birthplace was the ER and in the ER I shall stay, at least for now. I will continue to remember my roots and I am dedicated to keeping up my clinical skills, because who wants a manager that can’t spout off the PERC criteria? Not me!