Most of us who select a career in IT do so since we adore a hands-on work. We start out on a front lines as a developer, DBA, designer, director or support tech. With time, we grow into new roles as a healthy expostulate and oddity prompt us to learn — about a technical areas we have chosen, a products and platforms we work on, a new technologies we’d like to work on and a roles we have nonetheless to play in technical organizations and projects.
At some indicate along this trajectory, we are expected to hear a doubt whose implications are some-more surpassing for a careers and lives than we substantially realize: “Do we wish to be a manager?”
Those substantially won’t be a accurate difference you’re asked. (And there’s a good possibility that we won’t be asked during all, though instead will have a government “promotion” bearing on we though a event to unequivocally cruise about either it’s something we want.) The doubt can seem innocuous, suggesting that you’re being asked to take on a few new teenager responsibilities in serve to your stream job: “Can we lead a group of 3 developers on a subsequent sprint?” “Will we take assign of a subsequent deployment?” “Would we like to conduct a late change on a assistance desk?”
Your incentive is substantially going to be to contend “sure” and afterwards lapse to what we were doing though giving it a second thought. The existence — you’re now on a government trail — won’t penetrate in for a prolonged time. And by then, removing off that trail could be many some-more formidable than removing on it was.
If a doubt like that comes during we from out of a blue, we need to take some time to cruise your answer. Even improved would be to trounce out your meditative about entering government forward of time. Here are a integrate of pivotal questions we should ask yourself.
Do we know what it means to be a manager? Most of us wish to be famous for a work we do and enhance a capacities. We wish a respect, compensate and promotions that we feel should come with a achievements. And we wish a opportunities to try on new roles, to pierce adult in a world.
But is government a best approach for you, individually, to grasp those things? Do we reason misconceptions about government — that government roles move we power, when they indeed count on influence, or that carrying been a technician means we know what technicians need to be happy and productive? Such misconceptions can lead we to be bad during handling or miserable while trying.
Are we prepared for a career change rather than a promotion? Although many people cruise of relocating into government as a healthy career course for clever particular contributors, zero could be serve from a truth. Being a best developer in your classification doesn’t meant that we would make a good manager of developers. In fact, a reasons that we are such a good developer — a adore of unique work, of anticipating transparent solutions to well-defined problems or of removing fast and evident feedback on how good we are doing — might lead we to hatred being a manager. And we have to comprehend that if we do good in a government role, we will have to give adult many of what we now adore about your job. You won’t be means to say your technical chops and rise new managerial ones during a same time. You’ll have to select one or a other.
Supposing that we have suspicion about those dual questions and motionless that government will be a good fit for you, we will wish to ask a integrate some-more questions before usurpation that offer to lead a subsequent deployment.
What support will be accessible for me as we learn to lead? You’re going to need assistance bargain your new role, and you’ll also need someone protected to speak to who shares your concerns and can give advice. New managers mostly feel challenged and fearful to ask for assistance out of fear of looking incompetent. They also frequently feel fearful and alone.
How can we arrange things so that, if we confirm that being a manager isn’t right for me, we can go behind to a technical purpose though it looking like I’ve been demoted? Engineers who enter a government lane can feel stuck. They wish to go behind to what they adore doing, though a usually approach they can see doing that though losing face is to leave a company. Chart out a trail behind if we like a classification you’re in and wish to stay there even if government isn’t for you.
If we spend a small time meditative about either you’d like to turn a manager, you’re some-more expected to have a good knowledge when a event appears rather than struggling when we need your clarity most.
Paul Glen is a co-author of The Geek Leader’s Handbook and a principal of Leading Geeks, an preparation and consulting organisation clinging to clarifying a ghastly universe of tellurian tension for people who ride toward petrify thinking. You can hit him during firstname.lastname@example.org.