Engineer to Staff: The Two Key Challenges Engineers Face

Aug 25, 2023 by manish

When I used to evaluate staff+ promotions, I noticed two patterns preventing engineers from getting promoted.

🕵️👀❌ First, engineer was not visible to the leadership.

You need to be visible to the leadership to get promoted to staff.

To become visible you need to work on what matters. It is always a question of impact but impact in “leadership’s eyes”

To be able to work on what matters, you need to be on the right team so that you get to those opportunities.

Just being on the right team is not enough. You need a supportive manager who is interested in growing you, a manager who believes in your abilities.

Choosing the right team and right manager impacts your career growth story a lot more than you think. 

👤➡️👤 Second, frequent manager change.

There were cases where engineers believed that they did impactful work but by the time promotion evaluations came, their manager changed. 

The new manager didn’t have full context and conviction to put forth the case and it gets rejected.

Many times this is not in your control. Re-orgs happen. 

But doing your best to find a stable team led by the manager who is thriving in their role is important.