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How should I discuss promotion with my manager as a junior engineer?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer [E3] at Meta2 months ago

Hi, I've brought up promotion in a 1:1 with my manager, who did not give any specific timelines, saying "I want to set you up for long-term career success."

I have onboarded quickly, as a former intern. My document tracking accomplishments (thanks Alex for the recommendation) has grown substantially in the 2 months since starting at the company. I have been delivering on writing code, experimentation, and design docs, and I recently helped unblock a mid+ level engineer.

However, in our 1:1's, my manager seems unimpressed. On my end, my presentation of accomplishments could be better. At the same time, most people on my team, including my manager, seem to have a lot on their plates.

Work is the top priority for me for the foreseeable future, and I want to make sure I'm not getting passed on for promotion in favor of a junior who has less accomplishments but whose manager is more easily impressed (like my previous internship team's EM).

So I have two questions:

  1. How should I approach the promotion conversation? Give it some time? Bring it up consistently in 1:1's?
  2. What should I do to impress my manager?
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(3 comments)
  • 5
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    Entry-Level Software Engineer [SDE 1] at Amazon
    2 months ago

    Try to get concrete details regarding your situation. For example

    • Ask your manager how you are currently performing rating-wise if he had to submit your evaluation for performance review (needs improvement, meets expectations, exceeds expectations, etc).
      • When asking your manager, make it clear that you understand he/she cannot provide you with a completely accurate rating however an estimate is satisfactory
    • Come up with a concrete plan with expected deliverables to understand how you can reach the performance rating you want (ex. exceeds expectations, meets expectations, etc). Also, understand what rating is necessary if you want to be promoted
    • After completing the two points above, ensure that you review the progress of your plan in subsequent 1:1s with your manager

    After clarifying the above points, your manager be able to provide a better timeline for your promotion now that much of the ambiguity has been resolved

  • 4
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    How should I approach the promotion conversation? Give it some time? Bring it up consistently in 1:1's?

    2 months is on the earlier side for a promotion conversation, especially given the current climate at Meta (budgets are lower and I imagine everyone on M-track is super high-strung right now). For an E3 in particular, I would consider 2 months still the onboarding phase for them.

    The thing about Meta is that you don't really have to force the conversation as even though PSC is every year now, there's a pretty substantial check-in at the 6-month mark. And you can probably sub-divide it and bring it up every quarter.

    What should I do to impress my manager?

    As someone who has mentored a ton of E3s (all of them got promoted in 2 halves with a few after just 1 half):

    The biggest worry managers and tech leads have about E3s is their independence and weight on the team. Of course, almost all E3s start off needing a lot of hand-holding and that's 100% okay (well, not really you as a returning intern, which is a huge advantage), but you can't stay that way forever, especially as an E4 and especially not in this climate.

    Become someone who ships beautifully crafted code and uplifts others and you'll be on your way to E4 in no time. Your manager might even bring up the promotion organically instead of you having to pester them. 😉

  • 4
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    Huge +1 to Ammar's point about coming up with a "concrete plan with expected deliverables to understand how" it will map to certain perf outcomes.

    If your manager doesn't have the bandwidth to do this, you can draft this doc yourself! I would frame it less as "here's what I'm planning to do for promotion" and more as "here's how I'm measuring my progress and I'd love your feedback".

Meta Platforms, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate based in Menlo Park, California. The company owns 3 of top 4 social networks in the world: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. More than 3.5 billion people use at least one of the company's core products every month.
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