Should I be in a non-technical role? Part 2 (#041)

Part 2 that explains 2 reasons why I mentally resist to non-technical roles.

Day events:

  • Woke up feeling pretty good (more sleep probably).
  • Had a long and fun work session (not fun because of the work, but because of the silly things we were doing during the work session).
  • Briefly met up with mom to give her some Tupperwares.
  • Attended a tech community event (even if I was a little bit reluctant to).
  • Ended up having a great discussion with one of the founders that was there (future product manager opportunity with them perhaps?).
  • A bit of house cleaning (throwing away old shoes made me feel bad...).

Thought of the day:

I've been saying it a lot lately, but the timing of things has just been... clutch.

Or maybe I'm noticing the signs a lot more now.

Why am I saying that?

Because today, while talking with one of the co-founders that was speaking at the event, I got the opportunity to maybe apply for a product manager role at her company.

And guess what?

Product manager is a non-technical role.

And guess what?

The subject of my post today is about how I have a hard time taking up non-technical roles even though I feel like I'm more suited for them.

Is this a sign? I don't know... Maybe ! or... Maybe not !

Let's dig more into why I'm resistant to non-technical roles.

I think there are two major reasons for this.

The first one is because my career upbringing was within the developer community.

Obviously, things have changed a lot since then (even though it's only been ~5 years), but I still do think that some people have this mentality.

The mentality that, at the end of the day, technical people are the most important because they actually DO. THE. WORK.

This is especially true in engineering or software, but can probably be applied in many other industries.

It's the same reason why I'm a bit apprehensive at becoming a consultant.

Yes, consultancy is fun because I get to talk to clients, problem solve, etc. but I don't have any skin in the game.

What does that mean? It's simply a term meaning that I have nothing at stake.

If I'm a consultant and I propose something that goes wrong, sure, I might lose my reputation or this client will never work with me again, but in the grand scheme of things, nothing bad really happens.


If I'm the company that implemented the changes from a consultant and shit goes wrong... I'm fucked !

I think it's similar with software developer where a lot of "bad" managers or "bad" sales people put a lot of pressure on the engineering teams by pushing them or giving them unrealistic timelines because they don't have skin in the game. They don't actually have to do any of the work.

Because of this, I always grew up (career wise) thinking that engineers are the good people and most of the other roles were "bad".

And I know ! There are some very very good managers or good sales people or good something else that do not fit into this picture. They actually do their jobs correctly and when they do, they contribute to the team as a whole, but I still can't bring myself to be like "this could be me".

Maybe I'm afraid of being an example of "bad" something. I don't know.

The other reason is something more personal.

I've always told myself that my ultimate goal would be to be able to have my own schedule, my own freedom.

Work when I want to and don't work when I want to.

Right now though, I don't mind being a salaried employee. I'm able to put in my 8 hours and then concentrate on gym + badminton + friends or whatever.

But after badminton?

I think I'd want to have the freedom to decide when (and where) I want to work.

And to do that, I think is very hard to actualize without being a technical person or like being technical makes it a lot easier.

By technical person, I simply mean someone who has the skillset and knowledge to execute on the work.

An example unrelated to tech would be a personal trainer. A personal trainer has the freedom to decide their own schedule because they "own" the fitness knowledge. They don't have to rely on anyone to do their work.

Similarly, being a good coder allows one to build their own software company without having to rely on any other employee (if they also learn to do marketing, sales, etc. or they can always hire abroad).

Man, I feel like what I wrote is a bit unclear.

The sentiment I'm trying to convey is that, in my head, it seems very hard to get paid for a service that isn't a "hard/technical" skill.

But very hard, doesn't mean impossible.

And maybe I need to cling onto this little ray of hope when thinking about what I want to do next.

Okay so that's it for now, I will most likely talk about this subject in another post. Peace !

Subscribe to nijahusa

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.