Voices of Check: Engineering Manager, Lindsey Martin
Lindsey Martin is an Engineering Manager at Check.
Six months ago I was in a role I wanted, managing a team I loved for a product I was passionate about. Even still I found myself eager for change, new challenges, and a disruption to my trajectory.
Following advice from a close friend and mentor, I paused to consider my values at this season in my life and the top considerations in a new role that would give me sufficient reason to make a change. Now that I’m six months into my role as an Engineering Manager, I can confidently say that Check is a perfect fit.
As a mother to an 18-month-old child and a manager of ten engineers, it can be hard to balance a day full of meetings, my own needs, and the needs of my family. Check employees (affectionately referred to as Checketeers) are distributed across the country. To create realistic schedules for everyone regardless of your timezone, the Check engineering team’s core hours are between roughly 11am and 6pm ET. Late mornings have given me the support to balance my personal and professional needs. I spend the morning with my family, doing daycare dropoff, and sometimes running errands for myself. I have the flexibility to find the focus time outside of those core meeting hours whenever it suits me best, sometimes that’s between 5-7am, and other times it’s between 9-11am.
For many, reduced time for meetings can mean an increase in scheduling gymnastics - how do I manage ten one-on-one meetings, be present for important team meetings, and still have time to think? Our culture of transparency has made it easier than ever to say no to meetings, knowing that the agenda, discussion points, and key takeaways are always captured in an open google doc shared with everyone. Check also enforces focus days every other Wednesday and a full focus week once a quarter, where we have uninterrupted work time.
I’ve also found a lot of support in maintaining my boundaries. I sign off from work most days with a hard stop at 6pm so I can soak up the last of my family time and leave the evening for myself to rest, recharge, and live life outside of work.
Leaders to emulate
As I grow my own leadership style, I’m always looking to those around me to learn new styles and see what does and doesn’t work. I was drawn in by the leaders at Check from my very first coffee chat, not only the leaders in our C-Suite but so many amazing engineers, lawyers, payroll analysts, and operations managers. Over the past several months I’ve been able to witness and learn as leaders across every department navigate ambiguity, demonstrate vulnerability, and paint bold and inspiring visions.
I had the pleasure of attending a company-wide offsite in my very first week at Check and my biggest takeaway was how kind, thoughtful, and engaged the entire company seemed to be. After seeing this consistently over the course of months, I can report still feeling that contagious energy and inspiration from the kindness and empathy witnessed in daily interactions as experts across payroll, engineering, product, design, compliance, and operations drive toward our mission to make paying people simple.
The best part about working at Check has been the support and encouragement to ditch the walls and ceiling that I had built around myself from imposter syndrome and expectations of my role and level. At Check we play to each other’s strengths and support growth through different paths to excellence. In fact, getting outside of my lane and partnering with different functions is a core value here.
I’ve been able to partner with our People Team to define our performance ratings and promotion philosophy simply because I saw the need and had the passion to drive it forward. I created a space for the Engineering Management team to collaborate and discuss specific engineers and how to hold ourselves accountable to creating diverse pathways to leadership. I’ve been able to lean into creativity and human connection by writing a Recognition Playbook where managers across Check contribute our best ideas for recognizing the efforts and growth within our teams and celebrating our successes. All of this work came from gaps that I identified and support from my manager to lean into these ideas. Seeing them through to completion has been the biggest accelerator to my growth in navigating ambiguity, driving alignment, and really executing against my ambitious goals.
My time at Check has been nothing short of amazing and I would love to share more about my experiences here. If anyone wants to chat about anything - from tips or tricks to landing their next role, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
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