Episode 330: Mixed signals and not ready for senior
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:
Hey friends! How do you get ahead when your manager gives you mixed signals? I was told there would be lots of opportunities to work on exciting new projects when I interviewed for this role. After six months this hasn’t really happened and I’m beginning to get concerned it never will. Half the team is working on ‘new things’ while the rest of us are working on maintenance work. This is meant to be rotated but my colleagues tell me this isn’t the case. I’ve asked my manager in our one on ones if I can work on the next piece of new work but have got some odd responses. They told me if I want to work on better projects I should look in my managers calendar and invite myself to anything that looks good. This seems bizarre. Is it normal to lurk your managers calendar and just turn up at meetings that ‘look good’?
I’ve worked at small but mature companies for about 3 years now, and I feel that I’m soon coming to the point where you would expect me to be a senior engineer given my years of experience (which I’m aiming for!). I’ve struggled a lot to come up with ideas to add value to the team outside of the standard sprint tickets. I know these things aren’t “required” in the job scope, but often with teams at smaller companies, I worry my manager might think I’m not ready for a senior role if I’m not actively thinking outside the box about the team’s goals beyond the tickets I’ve been assigned.
I do have a lot of initiative and independence, but the thing is I’m just not very creative. As much as I love tech, it’s difficult for me to dream of non-trivial ideas that would actually make an impact. I feel that if I want to progress in my career, I’m going to have to get better at seeing the bigger picture. What tips might you have?