In Episode 5 of Lead Time Chats, Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range, chats with Gergely Orosz — formerly at Uber, Skyscanner, and Skype — about the decision to go into management.
Jean and Gergely chat about:
The move into management can be incredibly lonely
“When you become a manager you lose all your peers, you cannot talk about them about the important stuff, the performance, the uncertainty, the fact that you don't know what you're doing. I didn't realize how difficult it would be , especially when you're promoted from a team that you know. The relationship changes because again, the most important stuff you cannot share.”
Avoid being a don't-care manager
“I started to make note of the things that I hated about my managers . I had a manager who seemed to care. I like to call this person, don't-care manager. Every time I asked for feedback, he said, you're doing great. I support what you do. You're amazing. When it came to performance review time, it was like, hmm, yeah your performance was middle of the 60% of Microsoft.
We have this ladder from one to five, I got a three. I asked him, but you told me I'm doing great and he didn't have any answers. And I realized he just didn't care. He just kind of went with the flow. So this was one thing I didn't want to do.”
Being a manager doesn't necessarily mean more money or power
“A lot of people assume that as a manager, you get more money, you get more information, more power, right? As a manager, you will always have a power dynamic, like it or not, because you have a say in the performance review. At Uber, my salary did not change. My bonus went down because I was on the same level.
My bonus targets stayed the same, but I was now compared against managers. As a senior engineer, I was top of the band. I would have been promoted to the next level pretty quickly, probably. As the manager, I was more bottom of the band, so technically I left money on the table. But I really liked that this was the case because it made me reflect, do I want to stretch myself and do what felt like a lot of extra work for this?”
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Listen in on unscripted conversations between Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range and engineering leadership coach, and engineering leaders and other influential folks in tech.
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Checking-in with Range creates more focus time for heads-down work, all while feeling a deeper sense of connection and belonging with your team. To learn more about Range, you can check it out here.
Season 1 Episodes
» Episode 1: Will Larson on the path of the senior engineer
» Episode 3: Cate Huston on working with an external coach
» Episode 4: Juan Pablo Buriticá on common eng manager mistakes
» Episode 5: Gergely Orosz on the decision to go into management
» Episode 6: Lara Hogan on leading effectively in a pandemic
» Episode 7: Kaya Thomas on common early career engineer challenges
» Episode 8: Uma Chingunde on starting a VPE role in a pandemic
» Episode 9: Katie Wilde on supporting your team's mental health
» Episode 10: Akhil Gupta on navigating uncertainty in new roles
» Episode 11: Harper Reed on giving everyone a voice in team meetings
» Episode 12: Marc Hedlund on sponsorship