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

Personal Growth
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Career Path
New Manager

4 July, 2019

Aanchal Jain
Aanchal Jain

Senior Engineering Manager at Quantcast

Aanchal Jain, Senior Engineering Manager at Quantcast, delves into her own past and recalls how an inspiring manager encouraged her transition from an IC to a manager serving as a role model and providing guidance.

Problem

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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