3 Honest Career Advice for First-Time Managers
Career Advice,  Leadership

3 Honest Career Advice for First-Time Managers

Updated Content

First Published January 13, 2019

As a first-time manager, a lot of people will give you advice on how to do things and what to focus on etc.

And it can get overwhelming.

Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of “you should do this or that” conversations.

What I’ll share with you is coming straight from experience and wish that someone would have been honest with me about these.

If you want to have a crash course on leadership, check this post and go through it as I outline a couple of key ideas on leadership.

So on your journey in becoming the next Champion Leader, I will share with you 3 Honest Advice I wish I knew then.

1. Be Proactive

Being proactive very early on becomes a discipline in itself.  This means being one step ahead and doing much more than expected.

Your bosses in the first 90 days will be looking closely on your performance and one key aspect that they are looking at is your energy and enthusiasm.

This is where being proactive comes in .

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"Companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty and a 26% greater annual increase in revenue" - Aberdeen

Team Engagement is a MUST to survive in the workplace. 




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To do this you’ll need to look at things that were missing or can do better on BEFORE you got the promotion or got the job.

If you just got promoted, look into processes that you can start to help improve. Look at low hanging fruits that you can start to help solve.

For example, your boss is looking to have someone work on a project that has been on his/her mind for a while. Take initiative and own it.

Not only will this be a good way to build your credibility, it’s also a great way to understand what’s important to your boss and actually be able to influence it.

If you were hired externally, make sure to connect with key stakeholders and ask them about pain points they would like to get addressed.

Talk to your team in a huddle  and gather valuable feedback from them.

Not only will this build your relationship with the team, it will also build your credibility.

After gathering the information, circle back with your boss and get his/her opinion on the feedback you received. Get perspective on what are things you can start to get your hands on.

This creates buy in and sets the course on where your can spend your energy on.

There are so many ways to be proactive in your role especially as a first-time manager because you get to see things with a fresh set of eyes.

Take advantage of this and don’t hesitate.

Being proactive will also create a ripple effect with your team and it will start to bring in positive energy.

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2. Hustle

This is when you ride on that excitement, energy and just DO IT.

Try out different approaches, learn a new skill, build relationships with your team and key stakeholders.

Do all of these and more with GRIT.

Take hustling to the next level by being passionate and enthusiastic as you take on task after task.

This will help fight off the frustration and that feeling of being overwhelmed.

The list will go on so build on the momentum. Invest on yourself and learn new things.

On your 1st 100 days as a manager, hustle on learning, hustle on improving processes and hustle on getting to know your team.

It’s best to hustle early on your days as a manager because this will set the pace for you as you begin this journey.

Get excited to do more. Believe me, the hours you will put on your 1st 100 days will be the foundation of your long career as a manager or people leader.

Spend the hours wisely and remember to hustle.

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3. Take Risks

This is one advice that I wish I knew very early on.

One of the things I learned the hard way was to please my boss to a fault that it affected my decisions to defer to his guidance instead of taking a chance on mine.

As a first-time manager, take a risk.

Take a chance on anything you believe will make things better for you or your team.

When you take risk, you make yourself vulnerable for whatever outcome that risk will lead to.

Of course, what you can do is help mitigate that risk by better planning and involvement. This will make it easier for you to decide on it

But, if you find yourself in a crossroads, go with your gut feel.

The worst that could happen is that your risk will not pan out. So what?

Then take a chance on another. Don’t be afraid to fail. You will in some degrees.

And it’s okay.

Learn from the setback so you can have a major comeback.


These 3 secrets will help you nail your first 100 days as a first-time manager. Remember to be proactive, hustle and take risks. As you build on your career, these crucial skills will go a long way. Establishing these behaviors very early on will help instill discipline and more importantly, build your credibility with your team and key stakeholders of the company.

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P.S. Do you agree with these secrets? Share your experience in the comments section.

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About Daisy Casio

Daisy is the creator of ChampLeaders. She has a husband, a toddler and a love for learning something new. She writes about Leadership, motivation and many more. Daisy hopes to share her mantra on being positive and living your best self in the now.

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