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The time I was about to decline an opportunity because I thought it would not make me grow

Jared Jordan

Engineering manager at Evernote

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Problem

I started as a manager at Evernote only a few months ago. Shortly after I arrived, my manager asked me to take over a new team that was working on Web Services. This meant that I would mostly be handling Web Services release processes. I thought it was not directly in my line of expertise and that it wouldn't be a position that allowed me to grow. I also thought it would not lead to the promotion or raise in salary that I had been envisioning. I was about to say no.

Resolution

One of the core value at Evernote is "Collaboration", and the more I thought about this opportunity, the more I could see how accepting the offer aligned with this value. In fact, working on the Web Service release processes meant I would be interacting more with senior staff at Evernote, as well as other engineers, such as QA people, who I had not interacted much with before. Eventually, I came to see this opportunity as a great way to organically interact with more people and expand my network without finding artificial ways to talk to people. Even more importantly, by accepting the opportunity I was helping my organization.

Lessons learned

As a manager, you must act as a problem solver and, by definition, a team player. You work for the organization and that must be more important to you than you own ego-driven goals. Moreover, being helpful to the organization when it needs you is what will eventually make you grow and is what will lead to promotions and raises.


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Jared Jordan

Engineering manager at Evernote


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