How to Manage Your Career When You’re Not a Technical Expert
If you’re working in a large technical organization and have become a senior manager, you may find yourself in an awkward position.
On one hand, your MBA or years of experience working your way up the corporate ladder have equipped you to understand managing people in almost any organization. On the other hand, you’re not a subject matter expert in technical things but need to make complex decisions.
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to be adept at the mystical arts of technology. Just take control of your professional life by setting clear goals for your organization, identifying its strengths and weaknesses, and taking steps to achieve the best outcomes in the marketplace.
Here are some tips on how to flourish as a manager when working for a technical organization.
Offer Constructive Ideas
It’s enough to suggest good ideas and let the IT people take it from there. If, for instance, you’re a marketing manager but only have a passing familiarity with technology, you can still suggest the best tools for your department.
Your job is to make constructive suggestions, not to have an in-depth technical knowledge of the tools you need to enhance your marketing efforts.
Let’s suppose you’ve gradually come to appreciate just how powerful customer data is in marketing. The more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them. For instance, you will know exactly how to tailor your products or services to meet their needs.
In researching data-gathering platforms for marketers, you come across some technical articles on the CDP vs DMP debate. You’ve read that both the customer data platform (CDP) and the data management platform (DMP) are essential for marketing. They both allow users to capture customer data, store it, and use it in marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, since you know little about either platform, you can’t decide which one you need.
Now, here’s the rub: you don’t need to be an expert! Although you don’t know enough about either technology to decide which option is better, you can always ask the IT department to investigate both tools and furnish you with enough information to make a sound decision.
Align With Your Organization’s Core Goals
Once you’ve worked out your company’s core goals, you can align your personal ambitions with them. Your managerial decisions will not run contrary to your organization’s aspirations when you’re on the same trajectory.
Start by asking yourself: “What does my company do?” Review your company’s mission and vision statement to get a deeper understanding of where it wants to go. In a nutshell, your job is to develop some guiding principles to contribute to its growth.
Be Aware of Your Needs and Take Care of Them
Many people striving for success in the modern workforce experience burnout. Although it may seem as if external stressors are responsible for frustration and exhaustion, burnout is caused by inadequate self-care.
In the long run, if you don’t take care of yourself, you are less likely to be productive and more likely to be stressed out. If you don’t take care of yourself, you might lose your health or quit your job.
Recognize That You Are Responsible for Your Own Career Success
It is time to take control of your career. If you want to be happy, it’s up to you to learn how to manage your career so you can become the best version of yourself. You don’t need to be an engineer or an IT expert to make sound managerial decisions that will propel your company forward.