Congratulations, you’ve been promoted to management. Now what?

Ellen Beth Gill
5 min readJul 28, 2022

Is this satire or is this real?

Congratulations, after a few years in the file room, you’ve been promoted to management. You’re managing older, experienced, knowledge workers who went to years of school, passed state licensing exams, and completed a program of extensive training and mentoring to get to where they are today, employees of the former file clerk. You’re supposed to count heads and collect payroll information in between typing projects for the boss, but why not make this your golden opportunity to shine in the eyes of upper management. This job comes with many challenges, so we’re providing you with this little checklist on how to survive your first week.

  1. Be careful of revealing too much. Information is power. Don’t give them any. Heck, if your subordinates are so smart, they should be able to guess.
  2. Cryptically allude to secrets you know, even if you don’t.
  3. Schedule a mandatory Zoom meeting. Don’t reveal the agenda or even the time. Just send out a link, have them bewilderedly log on, and keep them waiting. You’ll be able to gage your power over your new subordinates by the length of time they’re willing to wait for you. If they fall off the zoom before 30 minutes, cancel the meeting and start over tomorrow.
  4. Another fun zoom trick: put another name in when you sign on and display the company logo instead of your face, then mute yourself. If you’re at home you can do this with the dog or cat and then sign in again as yourself. That will put subordinates on edge to your advantage.
  5. Don’t forget to insert the word “team” in any communications you have with subordinates.
  6. Tell them you can do all their jobs, no problem. You’ve seen these people performing these jobs for years when you’ve come into the department to bring them files or mail. Throw around some lingo to prove your point.
  7. Refer to your contacts with upper management, a lot. You’re babysitting for the big boss, make sure they know that.
  8. A great way to keep subordinates off balance is to put one of them on speaker phone without telling them, and then ask them their honest opinion about someone in the room with you.
  9. Absolutely do not, under any circumstances, ask subordinates for input on a new project or product. They can’t possibly know more than the consultant’s focus group.
Ellen Beth Gill

Lawyer. MIS e-commerce. Still painting and writing. Find me at or ebgill1959 at Threads.

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