How do I create a growth plan with my manager/mentor and what should it include?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer at Series B Startup9 months ago

I recently joined a startup (just finished my third week about to start my fourth) and I set up a one-on-one last week with my manager to hopefully create a mentor-mentee relationship. That went well and now I’m looking to create a growth plan and a way to measure my performance. We’ll be checking in on a weekly basis so I can get a sense of my performance and how I am growing as a engineer.

Given that it is a Series B startup with ~25 people, our goals will be shifting a lot which makes long-term growth plans hard to create. For context, since I joined, my 60 day and 90 day projects have shifted somewhat. So how do I create a growth plan that is flexible and what should it include (Concrete goals vs. more behavior orientated goals)?? Should the growth plan be used separately from judging my performance or would it be the measuring stick for performance?

Would really appreciate some insight on this.

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(1 comment)
  • Rahul Pandey
    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    9 months ago

    IMO the growth plan should contain both inputs and outputs, along with some qualitative evaluation.

    • Inputs are things like number of code changes (or lines of code), things that you have a decent amount of control over.
    • Outputs are the impacts on the business, e.g. shipping a feature which translates to more revenue. These are harder to control, but obviously more important.
    • Qualitative data is trying to answer the question of how you achieved your work. Usually this is collected from your peers -- did they enjoy working with you, and were you able to help them on their projects? This becomes really important as you go into leadership positions.

    Should the growth plan be used separately from judging my performance or would it be the measuring stick for performance?

    For more junior engineers, I would expect the growth plan to be part of a performance assessment. Since you're an early engineer at an early stage of your career, I'd expect that you rapidly build responsibility and trust. Your role and scope in one year should be different from what you have today, so the growth plan can help track that.

    For terminal levels, depending on the person, you may expect that they're ok with just meeting the baseline expectations, and they don't need to follow a growth plan if they're not actually trying to grow/change their role.