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CAD Manager – What next?

CAD Managers who are eager to challenge themselves or prove their worth may take on additional responsibilities outside of their traditional roles.  It is not always the best thing if your employer thinks that these tasks place your CAD duties at the back of the line.  When you step outside your job description you take a chance that others may think you are ducking your job duties or stepping into other peoples areas.

If you stay within the defined areas of your oversight you may lose opportunities to prove your value.  You may miss showing others that you can and should take on additional functions.  I encourage you to move beyond your formal boundaries but to do so with caution.

Is your CAD Manager position becoming old hat to you?  Have you grown tired of doing the same things over and over?  Do you desire new assignments that will stretch you in new directions?

Before you step beyond your job description, take some time to think about why you want to do this.

Are you trying to add other things on to invigorate you career? Do the things you are tasked with doing no longer excite you?  If that is the case then it might be time to ask for more duties.  You may need to pass on some tasks to others.  There are others in your firm that might enjoy some of the stuff that you do.  Be careful though.  Once you give something away you may not get it back.

Will it change the company’s view of your value – positive or negative? Your firm hired you to do a job and they want that job done to the best of your ability.  If you add on other tasks will it water down your effectiveness?  Will they think that you are not as valuable?  It might actually increase your value to the firm.  Moving beyond the job description may show others that you can do much more than just oversee CAD or BIM.

Do you want to add to your role or change it? Are you looking to add responsibilities on to your existing role or are you really looking to change your role?  If you add things on to enhance your enjoyment or challenge then the lesser valued tasks will be pushed aside.  If you are looking for a change, then adding on will overwhelm you and may not satisfy what you really are seeking.  If you want a total change, then don’t settle for just adding on a few things.  Work toward a total change.

Do you know what you want to do? You need to know where you want to go with your career.  Don’t let you career wander around.  Make a plan and move toward fulfilling your plan.  Make adjustments along the road as circumstances change, but keep moving forward.  First – make sure you know where you are headed.

Can CAD move forward without you? If you decide to add on responsibilities or change your role completely you need to make sure that the CAD environment can continue without you, especially if you are staying with the company.  Start arranging your workload and delegate tasks that others can do.  Then move toward your next assignment with gusto.

Can you handle not knowing everything? Taking on a new role means that you will not be the expert that you have become in the CAD arena.  New roles mean new information to absorb.  You may not know it all at the beginning. It will take work to get up to speed in another area.  Some people do not like saying “I don’t know”.  Are you one of them?  This could be disheartening because you are starting over.

Are you happiest doing CAD? If you are a happy person, then why change?  If you really enjoy your work, love the responsibilities and are stretched to learn and grow at your present functions then there may be no need to make a drastic change.  Just invigorate your existing situation, love what you do and make the company value what you have to offer.

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1 Comment (Open | Close)

1 Comment To "CAD Manager – What next?"

#1 Comment By Charlie On October 25, 2010 @ 9:41 AM

Couldn’t agree more.We should all challenge ourselves daily and not hide our interest in developing the workflows and software whenever possible, it is the only way to keep abreast and stimulated sometime. Howver, be aware that from a mangement perspective that type of work is not billable to the client and will not take kindly to you spending un-authorized time in this area.
Get the situation clarified by your manager before you become involved to avoid dissappointment or worse.