My previous IT roles have revolved around the administration of different technologies, specifically networking technologies. However, I’ve always had the willingness to perform any other job functions as needed. That’s lead me to learn all types of new things such as tower climbing, billing, phone support, inventory tracking, training, and the list goes on. At my current employment, I started as a network administrator. I moved into a network supervisor position within three years, then was asked to serve as an interim supervisor for another area through a merger. I’m now the supervisor of networking and infrastructure.
Transitioning from an administrator to a supervisor isn’t always a breeze. When you’ve spent lots of time administering systems, you become ingrained into build, support, and fix mode. Supervising is more than just build, support, fix because those duties should now be your team members primary functions. Managing your team while they build, support, and fix is now one of your primary responsibilities. Initially, during my transition, I found myself occasionally working on tickets. I’m not saying that supervisors shouldn’t be able to assist the team when required, but if you continue to pick up those say more difficult tickets, then it only hurts your team in the long run. I would sometimes ponder the idea that something would get done quicker if I just did it. You want to stay away from that mindset. Your team will only get better by practice. The more they perform a task, the better they will become. They may one day be quicker than you. That’s what a supervisor should want for their team, to grow. I’ve even had to share this with some of my senior technical leads, so it’s not just an issue for supervisors.
You need to find your “value-added” as a supervisor/manager. Setting priorities, training, planning, and growing your team start to become where you add value. Maybe you lack documentation or process in your area. Perhaps you need to start tracking changes better, or perhaps you need an assessment of how your services are performing. This is where you can become a change agent. You can now provide a framework for your team that will help develop growth in one of these areas. A supervisor isn’t just someone that tells people what to do, but helps shows others what they can do. If you ever have the opportunity to lead a group, think about how you will be able to help others in their journey. Leading isn’t always easy, but it can be quite rewarding to help others grow.
“I mostly know what not to do, by experiencing the mistakes of others around me. Remember to watch, learn, and grow.” – Javier Solis