Growth of managers vs tradesman

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There are effectively 2 types of people in the workplace. Tradesman and managers. People who make things and people who organise things.

Knowing which one you are helps…

Developers and graphic designers are examples of tradesman. They have a craft. It takes time to learn their craft, but as you learn more and your experience increases you will get paid more. It’s a pretty linear growth. (Although the rate of growth differs from person to person.)

Everyone else, working in tech, are on some level of management. Managers spend their lives organising things. This can be getting more customers or keeping current ones happy. It can be project planning, it can be making phone calls or doing finance. Their growth depends on opportunities and how the succeed – or don’t. It’s jagged, with pits and peaks.

Tradesman get paid more in the beginning of their careers. Their growth is more certain. They always have their skills to fall back on – provided they’re still needed somewhere. But to get to the top, at some point, they need to become managers.

Managers careers are far less certain. Your career moves fastest when you pick the hard, challenging roles – even when you don’t always pull them off. Your potential is much higher. (you show me a developer and I’ll show you his boss) But your chance of getting there is far lower.

One is not better than the other. It just helps to know what you’re aiming for.

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