When I became the manager of a team of photo editors and producers a few years ago, the job frankly started out as a survival game. Everything from transitioning off of my own projects, to managing other people's time and efforts, to figuring out how to be a good leader and a caring boss, seemed overwhelming at best. I bit my fingernails a lot. Like, a lot.
At first, all I knew I had to do, was GET. WORK. DONE. Without philosophical musings, without pausing to reflect, without eating lunch sometimes—just get it done, and most critically, help my tireless teammates get it done. I cried a little (every day). I wondered why I'd ever decided to try for the position in the first place. Wasn't I just happy doing what I was doing? Did I really want to stretch myself that much? The answer ended up being yes, unequivocally. Managing a team has been one of the most rewarding and most joyful experiences I've ever had because it didn't just stretch my "career skills," it made me a better person.