Where is your next role? (Pt 2)
This is what I have done, acquire the skills which you don’t have to be a successful leader. This could be another way you can decide on your next role.
I was a software developer since the beginning of my career for almost 10 years, before realizing that I am just following the road wherever it takes, without actually knowing/targeting a destination.
Don’t remember the trigger now, but I decided to change. First thing I did is look for inspirations close to me. Started expressing my opinions and taking a stand on things which I believed were right. Took up additional responsibilities and started driving the solution and owning the delivery thus being treated as Senior Sofware Developer in the team.
One tip to anyone is don’t hesitate to share your ideas with your manager. I went to my manager with how we should align the responsibilities of the teams to each function of the application and how it will put us in a better position for the future. Though it wasn’t practical to do at the time, I feel it did play a role to convince him to make me a Team Lead when the opportunity eventually came.
Now there is the responsibility of inspiring the team, planning the current and future projects, dealing with the entire lifecycle of projects from requirements to deployment, engaging with various teams in the process, I loved it all. It was a huge learning experience. After working as a lead for some time, where is my next role?
This is where I had to make a decision on going how (technical) vs what (business) path. I did look for inspiration on “how” path, shadowed a few roles like Solution Lead and I liked the challenge. Then I tried to look for inspiration on “what” path but I couldn’t find much and it was a whole black box, at least for me, on how the business operates and its intricacies. I was intrigued and when our iteration manager decided to leave, I pursued the opportunity and convinced managers that I am better positioned to do it, already knowing how the team works.
Iteration manager role exposed me to enterprise-level IT project planning, release & change management processes, how to be a servant leader within the team and am exposed to varied situations in the team as well as the projects. I really loved it and remember looking forward to getting to work every day to face the unknown challenges for the day. Where is the next role?
Few options were there, agile coach, product owner, Portfolio delivery manager. Shadowed the agile coach and realized I am not ready for that yet. Acted as an interim Product Owner for six months and found that it needs a different kind of skillset and wasn’t building on top of my software design & delivery abilities. I understood that the delivery manager role will expose me to the next level of detail on how the business operates and So I put my hand up for the delivery manager role, grabbed it when the opportunity presented itself. This role is quite different from what I have performed before and am ready to master.
Where is your next role? Please do let me know.