I’m three weeks and a few days into my new job as a team lead, after five years as a developer.
The old team lead and I went to the nearby pub to have a discussion about the last round of feedback, as his last official act of handing over the team. For me, it also happened to be a convenient excuse for a Tuesday afternoon beer which I felt I deserved considering I spent all day pretending like I knew what I was doing.
As we wrap up our discussion about work, an old colleague turns the corner and spots us. He’s a gregarious guy, with a booming laugh and a great way of telling a story. We wave him over and he parks up while waiting for someone else. Our old colleague is a lead at another company now, but he grew up in the development space. He launches straight into a deep and meaningful conversation - which, while jarring to skip the small talk, a trick I’d like to learn.
He told us that while he was good at managing people and good at his job, it didn’t inspire him like development used to. He didn’t wake up in the morning excited, didn’t gnaw at a problem in his head over the weekend. He mentioned being curious about the idea of leaving management and going back to coding.
He’s been doing some sort of people leading for the last three years at least, and as an aside my old team lead mentioned that I had just started. Our colleague congratulated me, and wished me luck, before excusing himself to meet his friend. I laughed, saying I’d find out eventually if people leading was my thing or not.
I’m three weeks into this job. I don’t know if I love it yet, or if it’s something I see myself waking up in the morning excited about.
I do know that I want to help my team of very talented people create things they are proud of. I do know I find the people problems challenging and interesting. So I can start from there.