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How can I properly advance my career as a team lead, where I have both IC and management responsibility?

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Senior Engineer [L6] at Better.com2 years ago

In order to get to the next senior level, I need to remove myself from the critical path as the lead, but I still need to ensure these projects get completed. This “Team Lead” role I’m in requires some people management responsibility, while also doing IC work. I had to assume this role since the old manager left the team and I needed to take on some people responsibility.

How do I navigate this tension?



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    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 years ago
    • This role was called Tech Lead Manager (TLM) at Meta and it’s a role I did for a while while I was employed there. It’s hard when you don’t have clarity about your long term goals.
    • The problem with the “Team Lead” position is that it’s more of a stepping stone towards EM by introducing people responsibilities. It’s actually bad for you if your goal is to stay an IC and get to Senior 2 and beyond.
    • What gives you energy? Talking to people on the team, or diving deep into the technical architecture? Based on that, make a decision about your direction.
    • If you decide to climb the IC track, make that clear to your manager, and identify a plan for you to let go of management responsibilities.
    • As you do any kind of transition (to management or IC), you should expect that things “will get worse before they get better”. So that means your life is at peak anxiety/busyness in the 6 month period where you’re fully transitioning to management, or back to the IC track.
Better.com) is an American company which operates an online platform for mortgage origination and related services. Founded in 2014, Better.com launched its first business, Better Mortgage, in 2016 and later added subsidiaries dedicated to real estate, title and homeowners' insurance services.
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