Inside Manager Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises


"Busy Work Environment...
I was very surprised how busy it is all the time in this profession. You never get any down time. This is a good thing because the days go by quick." (Management; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, male
School: Studied Management at WCTC in Wisconsin; completed Associate degree in 2009


"A Wide Range Of Travel...
Most people are surprised how hard it is to break into logistics training management. Most people are surprised on how much traveling you would do with this job." (Logistics; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Minnesota, male
School: Studied Art at U Of M in Minnesota; completed Bachelor degree in 2002


"I Was Shocked At How Irrelevant My Education Was In Real Life...
I was surprised at how irrelevant my years of college would be out in the rocking world. Everything I needed to know on my job I learned from my coworkers." (Business Manager; 2014)

Career: 11 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Business Marketing at St. John's University in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2001


"Business Degree Opens Many Doors...
A degree in business can lend itself to many exciting jobs across the spectrum. Aside from normal office work, the are many opportunities in industries ranging from music and artist relations to overseeing a startup and its practices." (Artist Relations Agent; 2014)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Music Business Management at University Of New Mexico in New Mexico; completed Bachelor degree in 2010


"As A Manager I Was Surprised At All Of The Work That Went Along With The Job. You Have To Be Very Organized. I Accept The Challenge Of Keeping Up With The Work With Opening Arms...
First of all, I love my profession. What surprised me the most was all the paperwork that's involved with the job. You have to really be organized to keep up with everything. The amount of respect you get as a manager. You have to be really humble when you are in a position like this." (Dairy Shipping Manager; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied Business Administration at Everest College in Georgia; completed Associate degree in 2011


"Everything A Successful Car Rental Company Entails...
Most people do not know how much work goes into managing a rental car company. Not only do you have to motivate a sales team and handle the day to day branch operations you also have to collect account receivables, market the business, and attend community events." (Branch Manager; 2014)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied Business Management at Eastern Michigan University in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 2010


"Uncaring People...
The Companies have lost sight of what it means to care for their employees. I understand reaching for goals and needing to make the bottom line. With so many companies the employee has become a number in a computer and the upper management do not concern themselves with getting to know their managers let alone their employees." (General Manager; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Indiana, female
School: Studied Business Management at IV Tech in Indiana; completed Associate degree in 2012


"School Knowledge Applied To Real World Business Issues...
Working in transportation I would have never expected my degree to come in handy. I was able to apply my chemistry background working with the company's hazardous material sector allowing me to use my expertise with the various modes of big rig transportation of chemicals over the road, tankers, rail or surveillance transportation." (Safety And Training Manager; 2014)

Career: 9 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, male
School: Studied Chemistry at California State University Los Angeles in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2003


"A College Education Does Not Prepare You For The Business World...
I was surprised how little my college education actually prepared me for the business world. I didn't expect much practical instruction, but the theoretical educations did little to nothing to prepare me for the real world experiences." (Manager; 2014)

Career: 24 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Business at Florida State University in Florida; completed Bachelor degree in 1989


"Organization Is Key...
What surprised me about this profession is how difficult it could be. Business managing requires A LOT of organization skills. This is something I lacked at the start of my job. It is important to always keep track of finances, reviews, bills, etc. to keep up a successful business. You MUST take these things into consideration at all times. These factors surprised me most." (Business Manager; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Business Management at University Of Utah in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2007


"Social Relationships Are Important...
I was surprised by the level of social interaction needed to maintain good relationships with employees and co-workers. I'm also surprised how hard it is to leave the responsibilities behind and not take it home with me." (Call Center Manager; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, female
School: Studied Business Management at Western Michigan University in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 1997


"I was surprised that at my job sometimes you have to work harder than people think, because even though you are very good at something, there is a lot of competition. To get a promotion you have to be fully qualified so that you can be recognized among the others. I also was surprised that my job area changes a lot, one day you plan strategies that can work, and the other day you have to change them, because the market demands something else." (MBA; 2013)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, female
School: Studied Business at UNCC in North Carolina; completed Master degree in 2012

Best & Worst Things About This Career


Managing Director: "Best - I work with incredibly intelligent people on a day to day basis. I work in a growing industry (an anomaly in our current market) where everything changes on a daily basis due to all of the innovations taking place in the online space. Our company has a global footprint so the opportunities expand well beyond just the city or country I currently live in. Worst - Because of my seniority, I'm responsible for all of the 'hard' discussions - firing people, making changes to our organization that not everyone may agree with, etc. That said, I see this as a positive because I get to teach up and coming managers how to have these conversations and make these difficult decisions." (2011)


Sr. Manager: "The most satisfying part of this work is coming up with solutions to our clients specific problems. There is something rewarding in either creating a new solution for these clients or coming up with a simple way of explaining concepts so the client can understand and effectively manage their expatriate population. The worst part of the job is the internal politics here. It is hard to effect change internally, and as a result our service levels are lower than they should be." (2011)


Farm Manager: "The best part of being a barn manager is working in a barn and getting to be with horses all day. The people you work with all love horses too, so you all have something in common. The worst thing about it is that it is a lot of hard work. Pay is very low and the hours are horrible. This isn't a job you do to get rich or have an easy life. You have to do it because you love it." (2011)


Operations Supervisor: "Worst parts: Calling people that you know should be out working but are home living off the system. Calling the elderly, and people that are in a bad way and really just cannot take care of their debt due to losing their job. When you cannot release someone's gas and electric for turn-on because they cannot pay it in full and they have children that live in the residence. The collectors who refuse to listen and comply with state and federal laws." (2011)


Retail Manager: "The customers are the best part. The bookstore sees a diverse and interesting array of customers. I've met a lot of good people with entertaining things to talk about. Even if it's just about the types of books they're looking to purchase or sell back to the store, you learn a little about each customer you deal with. There are also some bizarre folk who will come in, but it is an interesting experience nonetheless." (2011)


AVP Of Small Business: "I am learning to run my own company without the personal risk, being able to resolve problems on my own, prevent them from happening again and update my bosses. I love learning how to overcome cultural differences between overseas suppliers and USA customers while dealing with the extreme people in the industry, ranging from very nice to really hungry sharks out to destroy your company. Your on-the-job education is only limited by what you want to do. My least favorite duties are dealing with government and insurance company paperwork and the longer hours due to the 13- and 5-hour time differences." (2010)


Credit/Documentation Leasing Manager: "The worst part of the job is the stress. It's very stressful dealing with two different customer types in a fast-paced environment where everyone expects quick decisions on credit applications and where you're also expected to get documentation out and pay the vendor within a short period. The best part is getting the job done and having satisfied customers who keep coming back for more business. Also it is so busy that the days go by quickly. I've built many relationships and learned about a huge variety of equipment in the process. It is a very interesting industry." (2010)


Manager: "The best parts of the job are being surrounded with beautiful flowers and plants, going outside and spotting hummingbirds and butterflies. It's nice to be able to go to work in casual clothes and not have to wear pantyhose and high heels. It's exciting to be able to brainstorm, come up with new ideas and then be able to see them come to life. The worst part of the job is working on weekends and holidays." (2010)


General Manager: "The best part of the job is meeting with fellow employees and good customers. But driving new cars every day is pretty nice too. I enjoy being in a business environment and an auto dealership, especially, is a great way to see how a small business works. The worst parts are the daily pressure to meet sales goals and dealing with unreasonable customers" (2009)


Racetrack General Manager: "The best part of my job is that I have the ability to focus on any particular facet of my business that I feel needs attention and make corrections if needed. That keeps the job interesting. I may want to do analysis of our customer service performance or do statistical review of the performance of our product. Worst part of the job is customer complaints I have to deal with. But I also know that this comes with the territory and much can be learned from customer complaints." (2009)

Career Background


  Manager Salaries

Career Tips


"Know Your Team...
The numbers are important. No business can survive without making money, but get to know your employees. Care about who they are and what they are doing for you. If they know you care they will want to help you meet those goals." (General Manager; 2014)


"Organization Key To Success...
A tip I would suggest is being as organized as you can. When you are organized everything runs more smoothly and quickly. It also help others around you" (Management; 2014)


"People Persons Need Only Apply...
If you want to be a successful business manager you have to make sure you're a people person. If you're not, you will struggle and won't enjoy it." (Business Manager; 2014)


"Don't Limit Yourself With A Lab Job, Your Options Are Limitless...
Students in chemistry should not limit themselves to just laboratory or teaching jobs. There are many different avenues in the work place today to apply your skills and knowledge. Keep in mind, everything in this world is made up of some sort of chemical reaction thus in everything. Whether it is a job in transportation, hospitality, business, engineering or computers a background in chemistry is always needed and could be your ticket for advancement." (Safety And Training Manager; 2014)


"Training Understanding...
Asking all kinds of questions when you start in this field will help you become a better trainer. Understanding how stressful it can be to learn a new system, so when you teach a new one to someone you understand where they are coming from." (Logistics; 2014)


"Business Education...
If I wanted to be a successful business manager I would focus on finding an entry level employer that demonstrated a commitment to training it's managers and could prove that it's training was successful. Do not count on deriving much meaningful training from a college degree." (Manager; 2014)


"Network And Build Relationships...
Meeting as many people as possible is essential for successful business person. Having a broad network of people around you with different connections can come in helpful in many situations you would never expect." (Artist Relations Agent; 2014)


"Be Able To Do What Your Employees Do...
Build a resume in your chosen industry working the jobs that you would like to supervise someday. It builds a great deal of credibility when those employed by you realize that you have and are willing to step in and help do the work when needed to meet goals." (Call Center Manager; 2014)


"Make The Decision On Your Own...
If you want to be successful working for a rental agency you should learn to make difficult decisions on your own without much intervention from your superiors. Typically if you can back up your decision with logic the boss will support your decision and continue to give you more autonomy." (Branch Manager; 2014)


"Be Like McGyver...
Always stay sharp and be prepared for anything thrown at you, whether positive or negative. Make do with what you have." (Business Manager; 2013)


"My Job Brings A Lot Of Responsibility With It. On Some Days I'm Prepared To Eat Dinner At Work...
I would just encourage you just to stay humble and be prepared for work. If you have a family, it might be days you barely see them or get to spend time with them when you get home from work. Just make sure you are well prepared." (Dairy Shipping Manager; 2013)


"Be Methodical About The Job You Choose...
Be picky - don't just take any job just to have a job. Think hard about what you want, write down your likes/dislikes about a work environment (even if you don't know, what do you think these are now?). Then you can accept a job confidently knowing you are going to gain experience there that will help you refine your likes/dislikes for future opportunities. Keep track of what you learn at each job - good and bad. Even if you end up taking a job you don't love, make sure to be aware of what exactly about this job you dislike, so you don't find yourself in the same situation at a different company down the road." (Managing Director; 2011)


"Go Beyond What Is Required...
1. Make sure to take lots of quantitative based courses. Our work requires mathematical understanding of data, and the more quantitative skills you show the better. 2. Develop a broad understanding of the world. Keep up on worldwide events to show you are interested in the international arena. 3. Cultivate a customer-service attitude. Always be looking for ways in your job to go beyond what is asked. Look for the unique ways you can add value." (Sr. Manager; 2011)


"Learn The Business Inside Out...
The best advice I can give to anyone is to be educated in all aspects of the industry. Take equine studies classes, but also take business and accounting classes. Most horse business fail due to bad business management, not bad barn management. It is also extremely important that you're doing this because you love it. A lot of people burn-out because the work load is too high, or they're in it for the wrong reasons." (Farm Manager; 2011)


"Learn To Type Quickly...
I would recommend taking as many classes in math and communication. The biggest asset in collections is being able to communicate whether with the consumers, clients, or collectors it is key to my success. Also I would take as many languages as possible. Learning Spanish, French, and any other second languages would be helpful. Also, any computers classes, and keyboarding would be very useful. The faster you can type and input data on the system the more accounts you can work which means more contacts and ends up being more money collected and more money in your pocket." (Operations Supervisor; 2011)


"Management Requires Managing People...
You aren't going to be a manager right away, and some locations don't have growth, so be happy with your job as this will show in your attitude, which will help in promotion. Management is a detail oriented job; show that you can pay attention to every aspect of your work and promotion is likely to come. Dealing with people - employees, customers and bosses - is a key part of management. Make sure you understand how to deal with each individual as no two people respond identically to the same exact approaches." (Retail Manager; 2011)


"Invest In Face Time...
Go outside your area every chance you get. Face time is critical. I spent every spare minute and break time down on the production floor and shipping area, watching what they did, asking questions and showing respect for their difficult and important work. Most of my co-workers were afraid they would get dirty and kept a special pair of shoes at work for that. I got a lot more respect from my bosses and those workers, who would do anything to help me. The more you know, the more interesting your job becomes. Learn how all parts of the business tie together." (AVP Of Small Business; 2010)


"Learn To Multi-Task...
Multi-tasking is a good quality that will get you far in a fast-paced office. Although I did not get a college degree and do well, it took me 20+ years to build up the salary level. If you have a degree, you will go into a higher paid job right away and work up from there." (Credit/Documentation Leasing Manager; 2010)


"You'll Get Dirty...
Before managing a garden center make sure that you don't mind getting dirty. This includes your hands, clothes and shoes. Be prepared to do some heavy lifting. Rocks, soil, mulch, compost and manure are sold by the bag and are bought in bulk. Most customers like assistance with loading these items into their vehicles. The bags are often wet and can sometimes rip. Watch out for the manure! Bring a change of clothes and shoes. Be prepared for anything and always remember to wear your smile." (Manager; 2010)


"Lots Of Pressure And Money...
1. Keep in mind that the days are long. Most stores are open 12 hours per day and 7 days a week. 2. The pressure is enormous. Manufacturers require you always to sell more. The owner always wants you to sell at a higher price. The customers always think they are getting a bad deal. Even if you had a great year or month, the next month you are judged on that month only. 3. You can make a lot of money." (General Manager; 2009)


"Very Specialized Position...
There is absolutely no easy way to get to the position of a Racetrack General Manager. It is very much a niche position for a person with knowledge of racing and racing-related issues. My advice for someone pursuing this line of work would be to tackle every position available in the industry. I hold licenses to judge races and to start races. I do not use those licenses very often but I understand the complexities of those positions and it helps in dealing with problems in different departments if you have an understanding of the workings of that particular department." (Racetrack General Manager; 2009)