Management Positions

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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When it comes to management positions, a lot of people believe the "Peter Principle" is in full effect. The theory, paraphrased, states that workers tend to be promoted to their level of incompetence, which, quite often, means a management job. As if that weren't enough, there's a corollary to that which states "Those who can, do, and those who cannot, manage." If you're a manager in this world, there's only one thing to say in response to such aphorisms: Yeesh!

There are two primary reasons that management positions invite such scorn. One is that they tend to be more poorly defined than so-called blue-collar jobs that demand tangible skills. It's easy to articulate what a framer or roofer does on a construction site. It's a lot harder to explain what a construction foreman does. Similarly, most people are familiar with the duties of a sales rep (sell, sell, sell!). What, on the other hand, does a sales manager do aside from organize and oversee the sales team?

More Slings and Barbs against Management Positions

The second reason management positions meet with such animosity is the more telling of the two. Namely, workers resent managers for making more money while appearing to do less than their underlings. What these workers fail to notice, of course, is that a goodly number of managers were promoted to their ranks after proving their abilities at lower rungs of the ladder. A higher salary and better benefits (not to mention less physical labor) are just a few of the rewards for a job well done as a toiler.

So where does all this controversy leave the much maligned manager in the modern workforce? From the looks of things, management positions aren't going anywhere just yet. In their efforts to downsize in order to meet tough bottom lines, most corporations are laying off workers, not managers. Even though it's the managers who command a higher salary, they are also the employees in whom more resources have been invested, and hence they are costlier to lose than "hired hands."


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