I got promoted last half to IC5 and have been leading impactful work streams within our team. I am enjoying my new role and work. In our last 1:1, my manager asked if I wanted to lead a very high priority org level initiative that has impact across multiple teams and suggested this could be a potential staff level project. While this is a great and unique opportunity for promotion, I am also nervous about taking this up because:
Wanted to get your thoughts on this and what you would do in my position? And if I say no, should I be worried about my manager passing me up for potential opportunities in the future? Thanks!
In a nutshell, this is a very good "problem" to have, and I think you should take your manager up on this opportunity. Here's why:
And if I say no, should I be worried about my manager passing me up for potential opportunities in the future?
It's definitely sort of awkward. If your manager cares about you, there's a good chance that they don't want to overwhelm you, so saying "No" now may put them in an overly protective mindset where they don't bring up E6 opportunities proactively for you in the future.
All that being said, I recommend doing these 2 things tactically:
If your manager feels you are ready for it, I would pursue it! Like Alex mentioned, this is a great position to be in.
The thing to be concerned about when it comes with fast promotions is that these engineers are "lumpy" -- they are exceptional in some areas, but underdeveloped in others. For example, they may be very good at debugging the most complex problems, but they are not as good with finding alignment across teams.
I'd try to understand your manager's perception of you (along with others) to see what areas they think are holding you back most.