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TLDL Radical Candor Ep5 - Career Conversation

This is a too long didn’t listen (TLDL) version of radical candor ep.5 summary. As a reminder for myself in the future and a person who prefer reading than listening because I quickly forgot. NB: when I use “people” here it usually means software engineers.

What is Career Conversation

In short words: A conversation about their career. sure

In longer words

A conversation about how should a people grow. But grow into what? People usually vaguely know what should they become and take a job from 1 of the companies to finally achieve that dream. However, many also feeling stuck (my magic number is 2 years in startups).

Why Are They Feeling Stuck, and How Should You Help as A Manager

Most possibly they don’t have clear idea about what they want. It will be super helpful to make those vivid picture, comes towards full HD. Here’s a suggestion how to do it:

  1. Get to know their end state. This end state does not has to be in current company.
  2. Write the End State. Probably on paper or something easy to remember.
  3. Get them to shout out their dream. This probably hard as some people might have hide their dream.
Know What Motivates People, and Give Projects that Motivate Them.

This is one of an engineering manager job. Even managing team member movements if your current team is not suited for their career grows.

Advices to Conduct Career Conversation

  1. Have Life story Conversation. E.g starting from kindergarden tell me about your life. Understand people shifting and decision making on their life.
  2. Having Vision Conversation. Aim to 2–3 different futures, try not force anyone to pick one. Don’t worry if their dream is not related to current work. Start dream which are fuzzy, but then bring them into focus. Q: what kind of role that you imagine? What industry? What sort of stage of company that you want to work on?
  3. Have Career Action Plan. Think about the next job, it’s okay if the job is not in the current company. Key: who does what by when.


[1] Radical Candor Ep.5 Podcast - Career Conversation

[2] Internal Conversation @ Airy

Thanks Fajar Firdaus to share with us.

Written on December 14, 2018