How an Inspiring Manager Can Encourage Your Transition From an IC To a Manager

Aanchal Jain

Senior Engineering Manager at Quantcast



"I started my career as a back-end engineer but had never the slightest doubt that management is where I wanted to make my career. When the opportunity was presented to me I was not hesitant. I initially managed full-stack teams while later, after a major acquisition, along with full stack teams, lead research work as well. Every time when I reflect on my career path I can't but recall how one of my managers inspired me to choose this path and how grateful I am to have her serving me as a role model and providing guidance."

Actions taken

"When I was presented with an offer to become a manager I didn't have a second thought about it. I was aware that the transition itself can be hard, but I was profoundly certain that this is something I had my heart set on. Whenever I was in need of inspiration or guidance I would think about that one manager. I was honestly impressed by her managerial style; the way she managed the team was utterly seamless. I would recall how she would provide feedback or how she was adept to make all those different people work together. I knew that she genuinely cared about every member of her team and that she wanted her team to be happy. I learned a lot from other managers too -- I learned about mistakes I should avoid and traps I should not fall into. I experimented myself a lot but was always guided by the imperative to make my team happy. I was deficient in many skills needed by a manager, especially communication skills, and had to learn the hard way to approach different people differently. Eventually, I realized that to make everyone on the team happy I had to learn more about each of them and talk in the language that each of them could comprehend."

Lessons learned

  • "The transition to management could be much smoother if you would have a role model whose exemplary behavior is inspirational and who would encourage you to pursue the path of management."
  • "Management is not a desired career path for everyone and this is particularly the case for people who want to grow as an IC."
  • "It's unfortunate, not many companies offer IC parallel growth path. Some people moved into management because they wouldn't be able to grow any further if they have remained ICs."

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Aanchal Jain

Senior Engineering Manager at Quantcast

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementPerformance ReviewsFeedback TechniquesCareer GrowthSkill DevelopmentIndividual Contributor Roles

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