I'm interested in moving back into a more technical career track from a management position, and am curious if anybody has advice. I'm still identifying the specific direction that I want to go in, but here's the background of where I'm at now...apologies if too many details!
Anybody have thoughts or advice on what kinds of things to consider when making a transition like this? Places beyond Google where I can learn more about the field outside of my org? Or ways I can be leveling up my skills when I'm doing more management than hands on work? I know it's an incredibly broad question, and very much appreciate any input at all!
@atosca it sounds like you really miss the hands-on technical aspect of networking and security. The SSCP is a really good fit for you in that regard, but I see lots of potential in your ability to manage technical projects. Wouldn't you love to become a Technical Program Manager? They are in high demand by Google, Microsoft, and AWS. You'll still be able to dive deep into projects, have great technical discussions, and enjoy guiding others with your implementation knowledge.
Remember there is nothing that says you have to give up the technical aspects when you move into management, you just have to be careful not to micro manage everything. I have always been hands-on, even when I moved into management. I also know when to step back and let my employees grow without my interference. I am always ready to roll up my sleeves and get back in the trenches to help out when needed and I am also quick to know when to get out of the trenches when my "assistance" is no longer needed. There have been several scenarios where I have had to do this by either staff shortages, staff with no drive or initiative, staff without the requisite skills and sometimes just more work than the current team could handle.
I also have set up labs at every job I have been at. This allows me to retain my skills while providing a learning opportunity for my workers. I am also continuously learning, going to be sitting for my CCSP later this year.
I also share my knowledge with my staff through training sessions.
There are many possibilities for you. If you feel like you would just rather do the IT stuff without the management hassles then by all means, go for it. It will be a learning experience if you allow it. One of the best management lessons I learned was early in my career when I was promoted into management when I wasn't ready. I went from employee to manager and then back to employee. I chose to be "demoted" because I could get more hours as an employee. (TLDR version; I was 18 years old, it was fast food business, 4 managers left and they needed managers really bad, 2 months later 3 managers returned and they didn't need me as a manager as much.) When I looked back on the experience I realized that I had been a horrible manager. My perception of what managers did (sat around and did paperwork) and how they acted was way off and my managerial performance suffered because of it. When I went back to being an employee I saw the error of my ways and it helped me later in my career when I was ready for a management position.
There are many things to learn by going back to being a non-manager.