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How to deal with dissatisfaction with my performance review?

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Senior Software Engineer at Series C Startup10 months ago

I've received the equivalent of EE in all the areas of assessment. I'm disappointed with my performance review as I did not get promoted or get a reasonable raise despite my great performance. I (along with many of my peers and my manager) feel that I've already been performing at the next level for the past 6 months. Now it seems that I've to keep performing at the next level for 6 more months before actually getting promoted to the next level - this seems unreasonable to me.

What are my options apart from looking for other opportunities outside my current company?

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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    9 months ago

    From the promotion perspective, unfortunately, there's not much you can do. You're at a series C company, so maybe the processes are not as rigid as Big Tech and you could ask for an out-of-cycle promotion. But that is very unlikely.

    A more likely outcome (but still unlikely) is to ask for a compensation increase despite not getting a promotion. See this video for more details on that. Your peers and manager think you are performing at the next level -- do you have data to suggest that you're being underpaid? That would help in making an argument.

    The best way to gain leverage here is through a competing offer that pays you more. Phrase it like this:

    A recruiter reached out to me, I decided to learn more, and I ended up getting an offer. Turns out, this offer is much more than my current compensation. I really like the work I do here, but I also want to ensure I'm fairly compensated. How might we bridge the gap?

    If you're well-liked and important, your company may give you a counteroffer. (Note that some companies like Meta also explicitly do not give out counteroffers.)

    Amazon actually had a formal term for this called "dive and save". I'd do this only if you are truly ok with leaving your company for another opportunity -- you don't want your bluff to be called and then get stuck.

    Resources on negotiation: