I am a senior manager with managers and individual contributors as direct reports and have found out recently that I will be asked to move to a lower role, with someone else filling my role. This is based on feedback with areas I can improve upon. The first position is a manager role which will report to the new senior manager. The second position is an individual contributor role which reports to the Director as a project manager. Both roles are at similar levels in the organization, however the manager role would be a visibly lower role to all team members.

I am leaning towards the manager role since it could be good opportunity to grow and develop with maybe an opportunity to go back into a senior manager role.

In terms of the project manager role, there is a strong organizational need for a project manager. I have been successful in this role in the past and can quickly fill the role but I'm not sure if it would help me on the road to becoming a senior manager.

Any thoughts on the choices above? Would any of the roles be weighed differently (on resume, interviews), if I decide to look elsewhere in the future for a manager or senior manager role?


AmberleyF's picture

I see a few different factors in play here:

1. What are your goals? Is it to be a senior manager again?

2. What skills were you lacking and that need improving to get to the role you eventually want?

3. Which role gives you the best opportunity to get those skills?

Hopefully the feedback on your areas of improvement was very clear. If those skills are managment skills then the Manager role is a better choice so you can practice and develop those skills. It could be tempting to take the Project Manager role because it’s “easier” but if you need management skills it is very different managing directs and leading a project where no one actually reports to you.

Wishing you the best of luck with your transition.


MJ_455's picture

Amberley, thanks for the feedback.

My goals is to become a senior manager again.  The skills I need to develop are management related.

The benefits I see to the PM role is it would make me the right hand person to the director and give me visibility to senior leadership. The director exhibits some of the skills which I would want to improve and would allow me to observe some of these skills in action as his direct report.

The benefits of the manager role is it would allow me to practice and grow these skills even though the role is less visible in the organization.

I feel that I would benefit more from the manager role because it would allows for more personal growth.