I'm a mid-career software developer in individual contributor role on contract, looking to step up into a manager role as an employee somewhere with a much shorter commute. I seek advice, thoughts, and brainstorms around successfully creating this transition in the coming months.
I know I can survive and thrive in management.
- Hiring and firing: I've managed volunteers for many years, gathering together and guiding teams to do what we set out to do for our organizations.
- Detailed skills: I have Manager Tools here for the nuts-and-bolts of doing this as my vocation. My project management skills are reasonable, and have kept me effective in contracts and employee positions as a team lead.
- Money and administration: I have built and run (and closed down) a half-dozen one-person and one-household businesses. The household's long been debt-free because of my skill with our finances.
- Coaching and feedback: I've long been complimented on my mentoring of junior developers (and peers) in communications and technical skills.
My weak area is relationship-building. My intuition is that I need to dial this up. I know of managers, directors, and other top leaders across many organizations through Toastmasters. There's plenty of strong companies in several clusters nearby, some of which would have technical software teams.
I plan on doing some informational interviews to scope out specific organizations and answer questions (salary ranges, training desired, ...). I plan to visit a number of nearby Toastmasters clubs and ask (one-on-one) for good managers to talk with. I plan to chat up friends to find good managers to talk with -- including a few well-respected ones here where I'm on contract too far from home. I plan to continue serving in my local Toastmasters district ("state" level) in running and improving aspects of conferences and training. I even plan to take the Effective Manager and Communications seminars this fall to cement the transition.
What else might I consider? Are there other attitudes or approaches I can layer on that folks have found effective? Thanks in advance!