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When to ask for promotion?

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Software Engineer at Taro Community2 months ago

For some context, I am a L1 with 1 yoe with experience in DevSecOps and was recently transitioned to an ML Ops role on a AI team where they have no CI-CD pipeline infrastructure and I am tasked with setting all of that up for them by myself. My goal is to hold off asking for a promotion until I actually prove myself and achieve this feat first and it’s also my long term goal to stay on this team as an AI developer, so I don’t want to bring this up with any potential negative consequences. I’m curious to hear more opinions on this matter.



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    Ex-Google Senior SWE • FE/Mobile -> BE/Distributed/AI
    2 months ago

    Like you said, since you just made a transition, you might not directly ask for a promotion since you're still proving yourself, but it is never too early to voice your desire for promotion in the context of your desire for growth since that generally benefits the team and business. Voicing this desire earlier will help you get an idea of how your manager approaches the promotions of their reports and how the promotion process works at your company. It'll also help you identify things you didn't know the company's promotion process cares about.

    There's this saying "the squeaky cog gets the great". Voicing your goal to grow and get promoted in combination with the great work you do will help your manager think about you when there are new projects down the pipeline.

    I've personally found a lot of great content on Taro about promotions! Definitely dive into it. Here are some helpful ones that I think you might find helpful:

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    I assume you got moved to a new manager during the transition? If so, your instinct about waiting until you prove yourself is 100% correct.

    Here's my "playbook" when it comes to asking about promotion:

    1. You are a proven, strong performer - This is the most important one. It would look very bad if you asked about promotion and you are just barely meeting expectations (or even functioning below that level). So if you're getting good feedback from your teammates and especially if you have a documented performance review or mid-cycle check-in with a great rating, that's a good sign the doors to promotion are open.
    2. You have been on the team for a while (3+ months at least, ideally 6+) - If you have satisfied #1, then this is likely already true.
    3. You have a good relationship with your manager - If you have satisfied #1 and #2, this is also likely true.

    Also, it's important to view the promotion conversation as starting a journey ("I'm interested in getting to the next level - How can we work together to get there?") vs. a binary choice question ("Can I get promoted?").

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    Software Engineer [OP]
    Taro Community
    2 months ago

    After reviewing what Kevin has said and the taro content he has linked, I am in full agreement with this. It’s exactly what I was thinking. To add more context to Alex’s question I am still under my old manager (although I also report status updates to the manager on the new team). To address your playbook, we’ve always had open discussions about my progress and the things I want to pursue. He’s always been happy with my progress and I’ve proven to get things done, considering I would also do automation tasks for him/my senior manager on my old team and he would always say “thanks for getting this done for me”. With the tag-ups I’ve had with him, I would always phrase the progress I’ve made in almost a “journey” sense in that I would describe what I’ve done, the impact those tasks had, and how I’ve improved my total productivity since our last tag-up. I would also bring up I’m taking more responsibilities and address the conversations I would have with my stakeholders.