Career Growth
April 9, 2024

Taking the Leap: Individual Contributor to Manager


Are you an IC considering a career in management? Or perhaps you’re a new manager who is still figuring it all out? Regardless of the scenario, we’ve got advice and lessons learned directly from the source.

In our panel discussion “Taking the Leap,” Tara Smith Kent (Udemy), Lindsey Youngblood (Fisher Investments) and Katie Capuzzo (WISE) shared strategies for preparing yourself for a future role in management and reflecting on whether management is right for you.

Here are some key takeaways to guide you in your professional journey.

You're in it with them not instead of them.

It may be tough at first, but you must resist the urge to overstep and do the work for your ICs. This may mean letting them fail so that they can learn and continue growing their own skills. Instead of giving them all the answers, ask questions to influence their thought process.

You are a filter.

As a manager, you sit between leadership and your reports. That means you are often tasked with communicating business decisions that you didn't make. It's important to understand the why behind those decisions so you can relay them with belief and conviction. This filter works both ways, so advocating to leadership on your team's behalf solidifies trust and unity.

Don't forget to prioritize yourself.

In order to show up for your team, you need to take care of your well being and professional development. Practicing healthy boundaries, looking into internal learning and development opportunities and sticking close to the sales process are good places to start. Recommended resource: The Confidence Code

Interested in management?

Raise your hand for leadership opportunities. Internal employee resource groups (ERGs) or clubs are great places to start. Continue doing your current role well. Meet with managers, check in frequently on progress made toward your goals, and keep a kudos folder to remember your achievements.

Individual Contributor life more your vibe?

That's great! Management is often equated with success, but it's not the path for everyone. If crushing deals is your jam, keep calm and close on.

Wherever you find yourself today, whether as an IC or a new manager, your career is what you make it! Do your job well, hone your skill set, and don’t shy away from career pathing conversations.

When in doubt, ask our experts at

Want to learn more? You can stream the full event recording here.

Thank you to all of the WISE partners for making this event possible and our panelists for sharing their time and advice.