A common question I receive via the contact page on TheScrumMaster.co.uk is – “Should I become a Scrum Master?”. As the demand for Scrum continues to grow, more people are considering a switch to being a Scrum Master. Changing jobs and careers is a big step. How can you know if it will be the right move for you?
Like many big questions, the correct answer depends on many factors. So here are some things to consider as you make your decision:
No – You Should Not Become A Scrum Master!
- Being A Scrum Master is not easy. Leading without mandated authority is not easy. Encouraging people to change their behaviours is not easy. Being a change agent is not easy. Can you be both a leader and a servant and will you be happy doing these things?
- There is no traditional career path to follow. There is no hierarchy of Scrum Masters (Senior Scrum Master and Chief Scrum Master are not part of a Scrum Team). Being a Scrum Master is (in part) about flattening organisational hierarchies. Your next role will not be immediately clear to you when you start. Can you live with that uncertainty?
- You will meet significant resistance as you carry out your activities and you will have to learn to deal with conflict. Progress will at times be slow. Perseverance and patience will be key. Will you be able to stick with it and help your organisation when the going gets tough?
- You will always need to be learning new things. Change is constant so you will need to get used to being uncomfortable, operating outside your comfort zone and dedicating time to continue learning and improving. Can you commit to making the time for this?
- If you do your job well and help your Scrum Teams to effectively deliver value, people may think you are no longer needed. Your positive contribution is often invisible and only reflected in the greater success of the people and teams you serve and lead. Can you handle letting other people take the credit?
- Getting your first role without experience will be tough, but it can be done. Find out how to get your first job as a Scrum Master.
Yes – You Should Become A Scrum Master!
- There is a significant and growing demand for experienced Scrum Masters. We are still near the start of a significant shift in how organisations manage their work. Read what original Agile Manifesto creator Alistair Cockburn has to say about the potential future of Agile (and Scrum by association).
- Being a Scrum Master is one of the hottest jobs around. LinkedIn reported it as one of the top 10 most promising jobs in 2019 and demand has continued to rise.
- There are a lot of Scrum Master jobs available and the number is growing rapidly. There are over 596 advertised Scrum Master jobs in London right now according to Glassdoor.
- The financial rewards can be high. Being a Scrum Master has been listed by a number of sources as among the highest paying jobs around. Glassdoor indicated base salaries in the USA of $95,000 (this was in 2017 and rates have risen substantially since then) and that the average base pay in the UK is currently £59,000
- It can be a hugely rewarding role in many other ways too. It is primarily about helping people and this is typically hugely rewarding in and of itself. Organisations need help to adapt to changing business conditions and people with a track record of doing this will remain much in demand.
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