Career Problems of Young Managers

by Ross Webber



Drawing on interviews with more than one hundred managers, discussions with several hundred more, and published literature, this article examines some of the common difficulties experienced by young specialists and managers and offers some advice on career management. The early years of one's first permanent job can be difficult. The young college graduate's job expectations often exceed reality, eliciting feelings of underutilization that can result in departure. These older managers may also be at fault because they don't provide young specialists and managers with sufficient challenge. Large oganizations tend to treat newly employed college graduates as all the same and to assign them to boring tasks that could be performed by people with less education. Before concluding that it is better to work for a small organization, one should realize that situations change. Beginning professional and managerial positions in small businesses are reported to be more challenging and satisfying than similar posts in large firms. Small companies can't afford to train young graduates on unproductive jobs, so they put them to work on important tasks immediately. A first boss plays a disproportionate role in a young person's career.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us