Career progressions plans don't typically make for the most interesting articles, but we're going to try.
We’re going to turn to Gimlet, the podcasting company acquired by Spotify in 2019. This year, Gimlet has been going through a reckoning regarding an allegedly toxic workplace, where power and influence were concentrated in a small group (of similar race, class and tastes) to the detriment of their wider workforce.
From a recent article on the company:
‘As with start-ups in general, the organizational informality was occasionally exciting to its early employees. But it also led to an environment where there were severe imbalances in power, work, and compensation. Loosely enforced job titles meant that junior workers couldn’t adequately advocate for development in seniority, authority, and pay when they took on more responsibility. A senior producer could pull in a six-figure salary and not seem like they were doing much work, while a junior producer could frequently pull all-nighters and be paid much less — and still have no understanding on how they might formally progress within the organization.’ Nicholas Quah on Gimlet
Which brings us to, yes, career progression frameworks. You may work in an organisation which already has these and they work well. But many companies don’t.
As the Gimlet commentary illustrates, this is a lose-lose for both the company and their employees. If talented individuals don’t understand how to progress, they won’t reach the level where they can best benefit the company. Instead, their places will be taken by lesser candidates who’ve better navigated your political and opaque promotion process, whilst they get frustrated and leave.
So why are we talking about this now?
Well, this week, Wise, the international fintech company, published a fantastic piece on how they put together their career maps, including a great example taking you through the different levels of their Product Manager roles.
If you’re considering putting something similar together for your team, it’s a great place to start. We would also recommend checking out Progression.fyi. There’s a wealth of examples here from other companies which you can use for inspiration.