Career ladder

I've found a career ladder helpful for structuring my professional development and making promotion discussions more objective.

Buffer is generally open with their corporate policies. Here's Buffer's ladder.

Here's a simple example:

Rung Difficulty Impact
1 Executing delegated tasks Individual
2 Proposing tasks required to build product features Team
3 Coordinating development for a product area, eg architecture Org
4 Coordinating development for all product areas, eg CTO Company
5 Coordinating tech across companies, eg Fellow Industry

Each rung is broadly defined and would have an associated compensation range, eg "pay band", providing room to grow.

Given such a ladder, employees can perform their own career planning, review peers' performance against self-assessments based on a common structure, and initiate discussions regarding promotion based on an objective measure.

Related, although there are management aspects to senior IC roles, I'm a fan of maintaining a distinct ladder for IC and management. ICs manage projects. Managers manage people. They collaborate continuously, but are evaluated differently.


Thoughts? Suggestions? Hit me up @erikeldridge


Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, and code samples are licensed under the MIT license.