There are so many tech managers who simply aren’t very good at managing people. They get promoted to management on the strength of their technical experience. They choose management as the next step in their career advancement, not fully appreciating their own weaknesses in this regard. Some people were never meant to be managers.

While you can learn to be a good manager if your personality is not well-suited to management, it can easily turn into a grind. You can’t always learn to love what you do.

Many years ago, I reached the pinnacle of my IT career when I became a Project Team Leader. That was as high as I could go before hitting the management track. It’s hard to increase your salary when you’ve hit this ceiling.

I decided not to enter management. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy the job, even if I could push myself to learn managerial skills. I knew myself; I knew who I was. I was a techie. I loved computer programming. I didn’t like dealing with people. I didn’t like the idea of talking to people all day long. I preferred to “talk” to my computer via the mouse and keyboard, via program code. I accepted my destiny.

Life is not only about making more and more money. At some point, you need to draw the line. You need to understand what makes you happy. It’s astonishing how many people do not learn this lesson.

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