IC to EM; there and back again



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6 months ago

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So after more than 2 years in the engineering management track, I decided to do switch back to an IC role again to dive into (almost the same) problems from a bit different perspective. It feels super exciting. Like meeting a good old friend you experienced so much with. ๐Ÿงต๐Ÿ‘‡

It's something I was thinking about for some time already and I'm glad I was able to get the courage to do this, especially given the fact I'm doing it within the same organization. I truly believe everyone involved, including my ex-direct reports, got something from it.

In meaning, it's a great opportunity for all of us. Interestingly, I got into real management more likely from the organizational need back then rather than it was something super thought through. I was optimizing for the impact, and that's what I'm doing now as well.

The company grew like hell, and I was one of the company's self-grown middle managers before we started to hire them at a faster pace. I was reporting to CTO back then and some started to report to me, for the first time ever in my career.

Generally speaking, I'm convinced that it was the best I could do back then to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish โ€“ in hindsight, I'm super glad for the opportunity.

As time went by I realized that I'm surrounded by great managers which are great partners who enable me to focus more on leadership from the IC perspective where I felt a lack of. If you would ask me 2 years ago, I had the same feeling about the management track. ๐Ÿ˜†

So similarly like before, even now I optimize for what I believe can push me and the company forward. Which is actually an extremely interesting lesson. The company evolves, its needs and challenges as well. I think this is exactly what's a startup for me. Constant challenge. ๐Ÿš€

And I think it's not the last time I flirted with the management, honestly, I feel that leadership is such a universal skill that can be easily transferred back and forth. To some degree, I feel that the perspective I got gives me superpowers, so let's see how it goes. ๐Ÿ’ช