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How to navigate promotion talks when no direct manager or director in sight for approx. 2-3 months while being a new member on a team?

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Anonymous User at Taro Communitya year ago

I recently changed teams(been over 4 weeks). The current team did not have a manager/sr. engg manager to report to, and everyone reported to an Sr. director. This sr. director reported to a VP in my org.

Unfortunately during a round of layoffs, our director got laid off. So, now imagine my team is "headless".

Our VP did mention that they will try to bring in someone interim. Say that happens, and I am able to make a good connection with this "new" but temporary manager, but after a few months, we get a "permanent" manager, my questions and/or concerns around these are

  1. This would be my first time I will be in this situation mine is a tier-3 company, also not a tech-first company, is this how even Big Tech works? How do you all navigate this change, and continuous (non-technical) context switch of leadership?
  2. As you might have guessed how do I best make sure that my accomplishments(refers to the brag doc*) gets clearly communicated between my old manager, me, and my new manager?
  3. Does it make sense to even "talk" about getting promoted with the old manager if I have been on this team for 4 weeks?
  4. Re. to point 3, some notes about my accomplishments: I already was able to find bugs in their pipelines, and communicated about this to cross functional teams too, and everyone acknowledged this, and we have been able to avoid a major failure while shipping to prod environment, thereby saving us time(in months). What I am trying to say is I have been making(in my humble opinion) impact from day 1. I also am contributing to an internal library which will be used for onboarding several teams(cross regional too) in my company. I am the second developer on this repo. I already am keeping track about all of this in my "brag doc", I have been clearly communicating about my work with my scrum master, my current Principal Engineer, and other engineers.
  5. This is painful to write but, we have 3 engineers including me who are on the same level as mine(level 2), 1 Level-1, and 1 Principal Engg. Now, I am not comparing, but how do I put my best foot forward so that I too get a shot of pushing forward my promo packet along with others? There is a notion in my company(I dont know about Big Tech) that we "tend to" not have more than 2 level-3 engineers on a team, so should I just give up of not hoping to get promoted, and instead keep my head down and wait for new year or until I quit? Sorry if I sound negative, but its what it is.

Some more information about me:

YOE: 6+ this is what has been killing me from inside, 6+ yoe, and stuck on Level-2, I agree things were not hunky dory with me(been through a lot of personal s***), and couldn't focus on this side of my life.

I agree this is my mistake, but I know myself, and I know I can make it work,I can push myself and make it work, but asking for a guidance is all.

Appreciate you all for reading till the end, can't thank this community especially Rahul,and Alex.

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Discussion

(3 comments)
  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a year ago

    This would be my first time I will be in this situation mine is a tier-3 company, also not a tech-first company, is this how even Big Tech works?

    Big Tech is no stranger to messy re-orgs and leadership power vacuums. I have seen it happen all the time.

    Zooming out, it is hard to draw concrete patterns about how Big Tech operates as it's so, well, big. When you're at this scale, anything can happen. There will be great orgs and bad orgs. Products that succeed and products that collapse in a giant ball of fire.

    How do you all navigate this change, and continuous (non-technical) context switch of leadership?

    Every time leadership changes, you can brush yourself off and try to build up the relationship again.

    To be 100% honest though, if your org is really thrashy and the fault lies with its leadership and poor product, it's probably best to change teams.

    As you might have guessed how do I best make sure that my accomplishments(refers to the brag doc*) gets clearly communicated between my old manager, me, and my new manager?

    I recommend having a 3-person meeting and having as much documentation as possible. Try to have a clear growth plan each performance review cycle - You can just transfer that over with every manager switch to quickly build alignment.

    Does it make sense to even "talk" about getting promoted with the old manager if I have been on this team for 4 weeks?

    I think it's fine - Just don't be too aggressive about it.

    Now, I am not comparing, but how do I put my best foot forward so that I too get a shot of pushing forward my promo packet along with others?

    I recommend going through our masterclass about navigating your performance review in tech if you haven't already.

    There is a notion in my company(I dont know about Big Tech) that we "tend to" not have more than 2 level-3 engineers on a team, so should I just give up of not hoping to get promoted, and instead keep my head down and wait for new year or until I quit?

    A team not having enough scope to sustain multiple senior engineers is very much a real thing. If that's the case on your team, you might want to leave.

  • 3
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a year ago

    Side note: Zooming out here, I just want to say that there's no need to compare/reference so many things to Big Tech. What matters at the end of the day is whether or not your situation in your current environment is adequately supporting you. If you have a supportive team, are paid well, and are growing, it doesn't matter whether you're in a tiny startup or FAANG.

    Every company has its own way of doing things - There's no "right" way to run a company. Big Tech does a lot of dumb stuff too (believe me, I've seen this quite a lot). Of course, Big Tech does a lot of things right that can be learned from, but be careful falling into a mentality of "My company doesn't function at all like Big Tech, so it must be doing poorly." or "We should follow Big Tech as they're the Golden Standard."

  • 0
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    Anonymous User [OP]
    Taro Community
    a year ago

    Thank you so much Alex for these suggestions, will definitely look into this.