Don’t become a manager too quickly

2 min readJul 7, 2017

Is there such thing as accelerating your career “too quickly?”

I often write about finding ways to move where you want to faster. Whether that is networking or building side projects, with lots of hustle, smarts, and luck — you can generally put yourselves in situations to level up really quickly and take on tons of responsibility. I have found this to be a great way to grow quickly and learn more not only about what I like professionally, but also over how I am personally.

I was speaking with a PM the other day who gave me the advice — it is good to move quickly, but be sure to you spend enough time in the weeds. You do not want to be a manager too fast who spends all of her/his time in meetings.

I found this advice to be good and not something that lots of people spend purposeful amounts of time thinking about when making career moves.

Generally — people aim to go as high as possible as quickly as possible.

You become a manager as soon as you can because you want to manage other people.

You think that managing other people makes you more important , ie worth more money and more valuable.

In the short run, this may be true, but as the pm I was speaking with alluded to, often times unqualified managers actually hurt their careers by jumping into a position too quickly.

So back to my original thought, and the thing I write about often, can you think about accelerating “too quickly?”

I still think the answer is no. Momentum towards goals is rarely a bad thing.

But what I would like to qualify with is that sacrificing the wrong things in your quest towards a goal can be very harmful. For example, jumping to become a manager before you learn how to empathize as an engineer or marketer can come back to bite you long term. Realize that in moving quickly, there is generally some nuance you are giving up.

Those are tradeoffs you just want to be cognizant of. Some may be worth it, others not.

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