From Individual Contributor To New Manager

Archana Chaudhary

Senior Engineering Manager at Adobe



"Five years ago, I moved from being an individual contributor to a manager. It wasn't a promotion - it involved a lot more responsibilities and a lot of new, different responsibilities. While hiring came easily to me, I had to work hard on other soft skills to learn how to be an effective manager."

Actions taken

"I initially struggled a lot with time management and didn't get much sleep. Time management is an important skill and delegation helps a lot." "Managing people did not come easy. Asking people to do something is not the same as writing code. With code, you can write anything. Code doesn't have feelings. However, people do have feelings, so working directly with people was completely different from my previous role. It's essential to give autonomy to the team so that everyone becomes responsible and you don't need to micro-manage." "With a goal of learning, I joined a few internal and external forums. This increased my network and connected me to senior and more experienced people." "I took a couple of courses and read a lot of Harvard Business Review books for managers. The Stanford LEAD program helped a lot. I wish I had Plato mentors at that time." "I went through some difficult times, but when I eventually emerged from this struggle, I had learned some valuable lessons."

Lessons learned

"When you become a new manager, re-calibrate yourself. Becoming a manager isn't the same as continuing as a more senior IC role. Management is a completely different job, and be ready to learn brand new skills. One of the most important ones is delegating, which requires a lot of trust." "Another lesson learned is - when you have spare time, spend that time to connect with other managers and networking. This will help you to get better visibility of other projects, look for opportunities for yourself and your team."

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Archana Chaudhary

Senior Engineering Manager at Adobe

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyCareer Growth

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