Many staff+ engineers get an opportunity to become a manager, and many accept it thinking it’s a some kind of step up.
But here’s the truth: It’s not always what they thought it would be. It is not a promotion. It is a brand new role. You need to learn the new skills from scratch.
Here are some things to keep in mind while you are making this decision:
😣 You are transitioning from an excellent engineer to a mediocre manager
0️⃣ You are starting from zero and you need to learn most of the skills on the job
📚 Your most valuable lessons in management will come from trying and failing at things
🦸♀️ Learning to let go off “let me just dive in and fix it myself because I can do that a lot faster”
🤷 Understanding that you are no longer the smartest technical person in the room
🧏 Learning how to listen more and talk less
🤐 Learning how to observe quiet people and including them in the discussion
❓ Learning how to guide the conversation with questions rather than directive comments
🗣 Sharing your opinions at the end after everybody on your team had a chance to share their thoughts
👭 Taking an effort to know your team members as a person
👔 Understanding that developing soft skills is more important than continuing to develop technical depth
Get ready to have hard conversations, get ready to share feedback with folks that they don’t want to hear, in some cases, with your ex-team members.
If you’re considering taking the leap into management, know that it’s a different world. But with the right mindset, it can be a rewarding journey!