What is a great career trajectory for a Scrum Master?

A Purposeful Scrum Master Career Trajectory

This is an interesting question for many reasons and the same can be said for the answer as choosing your path in the unique world of Agile and Scrum may mean many different things for different people.

I believe this topic needs a little diversity in discussion and we need to delve deeper into this intriguing question and so I’ll tackle it head-on.

So, just “What is a great career trajectory for a Scrum Master?” 🤔

Well, in a nutshell, I’d say a ‘great’ career trajectory for a Scrum Master should be the one that they’ve consciously chosen and not just blindly fallen into.”

That’s an interesting thought.

But let’s break that down a little, shall we? 👇

Scrum Master’s Journey

Being a Scrum Master is, indeed, a unique role and there’s no doubt that it’s a role that is constantly evolving. So, over time, your job might not significantly change, but your sphere of influence may broaden.

As I often say, “Your job isn’t going to change, but your sphere of influence will change over time.”

Today, you might be working with one team 🧑‍🤝‍🧑, but in six months or a year, you may find yourself guiding a couple of teams because one’s in good shape and you’re ready to guide a new team on their journey.

With more time, and as you move along your path, you could find yourself working across multiple teams, often through other Scrum Masters, and effectively becoming an agile coach at a team of teams level.👥

And that’s a great place to be in your career as a Scrum Master!

As you continue to scale the ladder, you may find yourself advising programmes on Agility at the programme level and, ultimately, working at the organisational level. You might even join the ranks of those advising board-level executives of big companies! 👔

But let me clarify one thing – you will be doing the same type of work at every step.

Your Role

No matter where you find yourself in your Scrum Master journey, even though your job title may evolve over the years, one thing remains consistent, which is “Your job is going to be one of service.”

Whether you’re working with a team or a board of an oil company, the job of a Scrum Master boils down to guiding intelligent, talented, and capable people.

You won’t tell people what to do. Instead, you’ll be advising them, making suggestions, and helping them structure their thinking regarding Agility. 💡

You’re there to help other people be better at what they do. And more often than not, the teams and individuals you work with will value you for your guidance and your commitment to them being better. 🙏

Scrum Master Career Trajectory

The career trajectory for a Scrum Master can indeed reach high places. Some are even discussing roles like Chief Agility Officer! You might lead part of an organisation, pondering how to maintain a responsive and responsible company in the 21st century. 📈

What we need in this field are individuals who are deeply experienced at all levels, and the only way you can attain that is through time and commitment.

There’s no doubt that mastery is developed over time, with new skills learned, combined, and occasionally reinvented. ⏳

The secret lies in knowing your talent, your ambitions, and where you want to contribute.

It’s about consciously choosing to stay where you are, knowing that this is where you want to be and who your people are. 🌎

So, to circle back to the initial question, I’d say that a great career trajectory for a Scrum Master is the one they’ve consciously chosen. Like a surgeon who hones their craft without chasing managerial titles, Scrum Master can focus on their expertise and impact. 💼

Your career trajectory should serve you and the people you wish to impact.

That, in my book, is a career trajectory well chosen.

As always, if you’d like to learn more about the world of Agile and Scrum, feel free to check out my Agile and Scrum courses – they’re designed to help you build the career trajectory you desire.

Remember, consciously choosing your path and helping others improve – that’s the Scrum Master way. 👍

author avatar
John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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