What to Do if You Don’t Want to Be a Manager? 12 Ways

After you have given a try to be a manager, two things could happen. You would want to continue as a manager, or there will be words in your mind, “ I don’t want to be a manager anymore.” 

Well, that doesn’t mean that you have failed as a manager and will have to go back to the tasks you performed before being the manager. Well, you still are a valuable asset to the company. It is just that you don’t want to be held responsible for others’ work. 

There may be several professional and personal reasons that might have led you to such a decision. Before you formally announce your decision, giving more thought to the idea is crucial.

Why Might You Have Thought,” I Dont Want To Be A Manager Anymore?”

There might be a few reasons that might have taken you to decide that you don’t want to be a manager any more. These might be some of the probable causes.

You have to come across underperformers.

A team will have every kind of employee. Some might be underperforming, and you have to be harsh with them. Also, what they do, you are held responsible for the same.

You may not want to take the brunt of their underperformance on your head. Perhaps this might be the factor bothering you.

You are constantly under a microscope.

Being the manager and the team leader, you are answerable for most things. There is a constant microscope on your actions and your conversations.

Often you have to take responsibility for your entire team, whether they work correctly or not.

When you are the manager, you can’t be friends with your co-workers.

A manager can have a friendly and supportive attitude. But at times, he should be brutal in how he speaks so that there will be performance improvement in the team.

Thus, for a manager to have authority, it will be tough to befriend co-workers. That attitude might be a driving factor in avoiding the managerial role.

You might be responsible for the layoff.

You might not want to take harsh decisions like a layoff. But being in the manager’s role, you may have to make decisions that your instincts won’t like.

At such times, you may feel like leaving the position of manager.

You have to compromise in many situations.

Being in the manager’s shoes, you will have to set budgets for the team. You will also have to make compromises while you would not like to do that.

You may not want to be in the manager’s shoes when you come across such hindrances and are a bit sensitive to all that.

Is It Ok To Say No?

There might be your reasons for avoiding the role of a manager. It is ok to say no to the position. You want to contribute and can still do your best on the individual part. 

So, when you don’t want to remain the manager, there is no need to leave the job. You can get mentored with new skills and expand your limits. 

Work in the same place. You can switch over to the other role in the same company. You may think of becoming a specialist and becoming a contributor in the current or new company.

The first thing that you may think of is to communicate your intentions with your boss. But before that, you analyze whether you wish to stay as you are and still benefit the company. Here’s what you may have to do as your next steps.

What Are The Next Steps?

Are you still motivated to stay as an individual contributor to the company?

The company had seen your potential, so you were promoted to manager. But after giving it a shot, you identified that that’s not something you want to do. 

To justify why you wish to backstep from the manager’s role, you need not jot down the negatives of being a manager. This analysis will be dangerous. Instead, you should jot down the positives of taking up an individual role where you can contribute in the best possible way.

All you need to have is motivation to stay as a contributor. You must evaluate how beneficial you will remain for the company when you alter and take up the contributor’s role. Ultimately, its morale and motivation will work as the driving factors.

Communicate with your boss and put up your side of the discussion.

Create a transition plan, evaluate it properly and prepare to present it to your boss. If you did not hint previously, then this transition plan might come as a shock for him. But do not be afraid of the response.

Indeed, your plan to back out as a manager in the middle of the journey might leave the boss in shock because he was not prepared for this action. 

You can recommend the name of another co-worker you think might be suitable for the role. Be firm in your discussion and promote the idea that you will be happier in the contributor role.

Make things easier as much as you can to get a positive reply from your boss on this subject.

Negotiate to keep the compensation intact.

As expected, during such discussions, compensation might become the prime consideration. While you took the manager role, you might have taken it with the same compensation or an enhanced one. 

Now, while you are telling them to reduce your role, the boss may hear it as a reduction in responsibilities. Of course, you did not mean that. But you will have to renegotiate and keep your arguments ready. 

This phase will be challenging. It would help if you said that there are ways in which you can contribute to the company.

Think of the next career move if things do not happen as you had planned.

You thought staying in the same company with an alternative role would be ideal. But things did not work as they should when you discussed the matter with the boss. In that case, you may have to make another decision which will be something more practical.

Either you may want to switch jobs, or you wish to become a solopreneur. Suppose you are looking forward to another job and want to contribute there. In that case, you will have to put forward your arguments once again. 

It is possible that the new people will also think that when people look out for higher roles and responsibilities, why is someone talking to be merely a contributor? If your contribution is remarkable and you can move up the company with your knowledge, they will hire you.

If you think you wish to become a solopreneur, that will be a good decision. Here, you will look for career longevity, not just career shifts. 


Several factors may lead to the thought that you don’t want to continue as a manager. You either like the older role or want to shift to something more meaningful. 

You can take this as an opportunity to expand your knowledge and learn new skills. Once you are a specialist in what you like, you can give your best with your sheer expertise. 

Many people might not be comfortable when they have to manage a team or work with various constraints. For them, there are alternatives. 

You must try the best option that suits you. After all, you are looking forward to enhancing your experience in your career and not staying frustrated all the time. People have different mindsets and attitudes. They can be the best at what they are the best at. 

So, when you feel that you want to take a step, don’t think much as to what others will think. You have to take a call for yourself and do something you are comfortable doing.

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