You sure you want that job?
This was a question the creator Khe Hy posed in his latest RadReads blog entry:
Do you want to own the successful version of career?
What is the successful version of your career? What does that “success” state look like to you?
If you’re in tech, is it being senior/staff/principal engineer? Is it a director, manager? Is it a freelancer? A consultant? A CTO? A startup founder? A bootstrapped entrepreneur? A creator? Just doing what you’re doing today?
Think of the tradeoffs and overlaps around freedom, money, time ownership, prestige, client management, stakeholder management, values, autonomy, skills breadth, skills depth, etc.
One practical way to do this is to identify the people you admire in tech, and see if you can learn more about what their day to day looks like.
For a personal example, most of the managers I’ve worked with have their calendar full of meetings (easily 70%+ of the week). After several years experimenting with tech lead roles myself, I also realized a formal management track that necessitated a busy meeting schedule probably wasn’t my ideal success state. For many people it can actually be the ok or even ideal. Your sweet spot is specific to you. Remember that there are no wrong answers here. Experiment.