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Manager and I were misaligned about my promotion - How do I remedy this?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Twitter2 years ago

In the previous cycle, I wanted to be promoted to senior, but my manager stepped in relatively late into the process to let me know that my promo packet had gaps. Because of this, I wasn't put up for promotion and I'm still at SW2.

This all caught me completely off-guard, and my goal is to make sure this doesn't happen again in the next performance review cycle. How can I make sure that my manager and I are completely aligned going into the next promotion process, and I'm not hit with any last minute surprises?



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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago

    I'm really sorry to hear that - It's never fun being blindsided. 😭 Let's make sure that never happens again!

    That being said, communication lanes are similar to small children in that they need to be regularly nurtured. In a strong, huge tech company like Twitter, there's always 1 million things going on so people, including your manager, can easily forget to do things (especially proactively). At a high-level, this is what you need to do:

    1. Create a growth plan with your manager containing the milestones you need to hit to reach senior.
    2. Check in with your manager regularly (either every 1 on 1 or every other one) to see how that growth plan is going and make adjustments if necessary (e.g. a project on the plan has been deprioritized by leads and should be removed). From my ample experience, growth plan thrash is extremely common among high-performance tech companies like Twitter and Meta. Figuring out whether or not you're on track will require you to share your wins clearly and regularly to get proper credit.
    3. Have an honest conversation every 2-3 months on how you're trending (i.e. "Am I in bad/okay/good/great territory chance-wise landing the promo?"). The most concrete information you can extract here is to have your manager give you a hypothetical rating (make it clear that you understand that there's a lot of uncertainty here, and you'll take it with a huge grain of salt).

    For resources on how to do this, I recommend these:

    On top of the above, I also heavily recommend this huge Q&A on what it takes to be a senior engineer at a large tech company. There are many, many ways to show senior engineer signal, and a ton of them are covered in that thread!

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