Greetings friends -

Our company is going through reorganization right now and there's a series of new positions opening up.  I have a conversation in a couple of days with the new boss that I believe will be about me taking one of the positions.  What I'm trying to figure out - is this a step up to "them" or just a career delay?

These new positions are essentially focused technical experts on some challenging aspect of the projects we do, the title would be something like "Database Tuning Leader".  Normally I'd pass that idea by since I'm close to a project lead role that is far more expansive and more respected in our industry.  However these new positions are different because they have direct reports that do the same work with the leader giving feedback and coaching on whatever the particular aspect is.  There are administrative responsibilities such as performance reviews and interviewing that really means I would be a first line manager, but still working as an individual contributor too.

Do you view this as management or not?  When I have the conversation in a couple of days, what specific questions could I use to clarify the management role of these positions?  A few I already have

What's the career progression after this position?  If it means going back to being the project lead, then it's inferior to the project lead, right?

What's the interviewing / hiring authority for this position?  Similiar, what is the authority to terminate someone?

How is this position judged, what makes someone great at this?



SamBeroz's picture

Brian, I would consider the asking yourself the following:

  1. Would such a change allow you to leverage your strengths to produce stellar results?
  2. Would it provide room to grow by allowing you to learn / practice skills you are not yet proficient in?
  3. Would it better allow you to build relationships and grow your network?

I would also take into account that your response will shape others' opinions of your attitude. 

Hope that helps - Sam

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

This is a step up to them and I recommend you interview for it.  These are management jobs, in my opinion.

Why?  They have directs.  They do feedback and coaching.  They do admin.  Funny that you call performance reviews and interviewing as admin - these are some of the most coveted responsibilities of those who have quasi-managerial roles.

The fact that these jobs have "work" responsibilities is NOT a factor against them being management - far from it.  ALL managerial roles have individual responsibilities.

When you INTERVIEW, you DON'T try to clarify the management role.  You need to ask about the role's contributions, and how you might help in those ways.  The questions you have listed are ALL BAD questions about power and authority, a bad sign for an interviewer.

An example question might be, I've noticed an increase in our work with non-traditional customers, such as <blank>.  How will this role be involved in that?

One question that is related to one of yours (but stilll quite different) is, These are new positions.  Can you share with me your sense of what the success parameters are going to be?

Good luck!



bflynn's picture

Mark - I'm sorry, I didn't get a chance to reply before Christmas.  Things were moving rather fast and still are.  The basic success parameters will be the quality of solutions delivered, utilization of myself and directs and how well I can take the custom solutions and feed them back into the standard solution.  Within five years, I would expect this team to no longer be needed, but new needs will come up.

I did interview and did well.  Today was the first day for everyone back after the holiday and one of the first things that happened was someone on the other cube from me popped up and said "Hey Brian, you're my new manager!"  Sure enough in the admin tools I'm listed with 7 directs and the announcement was formally made in an afternoon status call.

There's still a lot of details to work out, but it's official.  It's funny, you expect it to be a big day, but all I could think about was how much work there is to do, 

Deep breath - O3s start next week.  Here we go.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Congratulations Brian!

Nice way to start the new year.  And for your next promotion, lateral is often a good thing. Most of the major corporations, banks, IBM, GE etc put their high potential managers through rotations so they have a broader perspective of the business when they promote them.  Good luck.


Singers's picture

Congratulations Brian, well done and hope you get a great start on the new job ;)

Kind Regards
Mads Sorensen
Disc 4536