Advice from peers: How to succeed in your first management position

We spoke to global development professionals in mid-level and senior level positions to hear their advice for surviving and succeeding your first management position. Photo by: WOCinTech Chat / CC BY

Your first experience in a management position can be both exciting and daunting as you learn on the job what it means to oversee people, programs and budgets. This is particularly the case in the global development sector, where resource-strapped organizations may not have a training budget or program in place to guide early-career managers.

“It's a huge learning curve,” says Maya El Hage, an operations manager for a global development organization in Lebanon who has been in her role just over a year. “You develop skills personally and professionally, and you are exposed to a lot of different people, different ideas, different stakeholders, different organizations.”

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About the author

  • Emma smith

    Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a reporting and communications associate at Devex, based in Barcelona. She focuses on bringing the latest career and hiring trends, tips, and insights to our global development community. Emma has a background in journalism and, in addition to writing for news publications, has worked with organizations focusing on child rights and women’s rights in sustainable development.