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What should you talk about with your first 1-on-1s with your manager?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [L4] at Google8 months ago

I'm in the process of transferring teams right now.

What topics should I discuss with my new manager in our first 2-4 1-on-1s?

Topics that come to my mind:

  • Working styles
  • Strengths, weaknesses, interests
  • Career goals
  • Onboarding expectations (30/60/90 days)
  • The team's mission / goals / KPIs
  • Things on the manager's top of mind
  • People to meet with / get to know


  • 2
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    Senior Manager at Zoox; Meta, Snap, Google
    7 months ago

    I think these are all good topics to bring, but I would also add that relationship building could be the most important aspect especially in the beginning of your relationship with a new manager. So I would add a little bit more emphasis on questions about their background, hobbies, what are they excited about at this company/role and maybe then you can organically transition into topics like the best report they have ever had.

    But overall again, I would focus on connecting as humans during your first 1:1 mostly.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    7 months ago

    For the 1st 1 on 1, just take it easy as Igor mentioned. Be chill and get to know your manager as a fellow human being. Of your list, I would only go through "People to meet with / get to know" and "Working styles" in the first 1 on 1.

    For the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 1 on 1s, I would focus on the "Onboarding expectations (30/60/90 days)" item in your list. In your first month, your goal is mainly to figure out how to get stuff working and contribute code, especially as an L4. If you were an L5 or L6, things would be different as you would be expected to take in broader responsibilities earlier, but you're an L4 so you don't need to worry too much about that (until Taro helps you get to L5) 😉

    After you "stabilize" and become a proficient L4 again (should take 1-2 months), then you can have those broader discussions around the team's mission/KPIs, your path to L5 (and career goals in general), your manager's holistic view of the team, etc.

    To expand on this topic, I recommend these resources as well:

Google is an American multinational technology company that focuses on search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, and much more. It is considered one of the Big Five technology companies.
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