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Things Your Manager Might Not Know

By Julia Evans

November 2, 2022

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When people talk about "managing up," sometimes it's framed as a bad thing.

In my experience, managing up is usually a lot more practical. Your manager doesn't (and can't!) know every single detail about what you do in your job, and being aware of what they might not know and giving them the information they need to do their job well makes everyone's job a lot easier.

Here are some facts your manager might not know about you and your team and specific ways to get them the information they need.

What's slowing the team down: Sometimes you're working on a project that's going more slowly than you hoped. There are always reasons for this, and those reasons change a lot. If your manager knows why you're stuck, they might be able to help.

Where is the technical debt: Your manager probably broadly understands what technology your team is using. But they probably don't know that much about the details. They rely on you for that. If you have a system that isn't going to meet your current scaling needs and is going to need a lot of work, that needs to get factored into planning.

Tell them your goals: If you have a specific career goal, it's important to tell your manager. Ask them what skills you'll need to build to get there. Good managers will be delighted to figure out what you need to do, and sponsor your work to help you get opportunities.

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