Getting to Director level

Adobe Hayden1
Feb 3 20 Comments

I have been a Sr Mgr for a couple years now and am looking to switch to a larger (preferably FAANG) company for continued growth. I am keeping my expectations modest in that I would make a lateral move.

My question to those who have made the transition to a Director or above though is, what do I really need to do to become one? I feel I am performing pretty well and delivering results which are being acknowledged both publicly and monetarily but may be hitting a glass ceiling.

My work involves product strategy, product development, partner relations, budget management, vendor relations and management, and spans across engineering, and operations.

TC: Very low
YoE: 15

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TOP 20 Comments
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon / Eng tylium
      Highly unlikely. I've interviewed VPs for L6 SDM at Amazon. You may get a lateral interview if it's a "top tier" company.

      If it helps. L6 at Amazon would be a pay increase for you.
      Feb 3
    • Adobe Hayden1
      OP
      Are the downgrades because of the brand name or simply a difference in expectation in these companies of what a Senior Engg Manager should be doing?
      Feb 3
    • PayPal / Eng = O(1)
      Downgrades happen because there are people willing to take them.
      Feb 3
    • Amazon / Eng tylium
      Speaking just for Amazon (I think google and fb are the same), the L7 external bar is really high. They expect you to come in and be better than 50% of others. That usually means you were high up at another company (director or above), have many years experience and have shown a strong upwards trajectory. Often you are known by a director or VP within.
      Feb 3
    • Facebook / Finance Sueinsnk
      There is a former Adobe Director on my XFN team who is L6
      Feb 3
  • Microsoft am sjbg
    My old engineering director at msft downleveled into EM at Instagram
    Feb 3 0
  • Netflix Lovers
    You typically get down-leveled when switching into FANG.
    Feb 3 0
  • Amazon amazons
    Most L7s at Amazon come in as former Directors, Sr Directors or even VPs at their prior companies. Based on what you’ve shared it’s highly unlikely you’d be offered that title, but only one way to find out.

    For some context, most L7s on the engineering side manage multiple other engineering managers and often other functions like QA, PM, and TPM. Typical team size is 30-50. Comp is also about $200k more than where you are today.
    Feb 3 1
    • Amazon JSnowflake
      In the Bay Area 450k is top band L6 SDM external hire comp. L7 external hires can go way up from there. With comp in his range, he is really targeting an external hire L6 manager role which would give him a massive comp bump with likely similar scope.
      Feb 4
  • Oracle mariachi
    Don't agree to down-level. It hurts your career in the long term.
    Feb 3 1
    • Amazon amazons
      Lol, you can’t negotiate level, so “don’t agree” is the same as telling him to blow his chances and walk away. Get over the title, go for opportunity, scope and comp. All three of those can be great even as an L6.
      Feb 3
  • Facebook / Eng
    fb2017

    Facebook Eng

    PRE
    Google, Oracle
    BIO
    worked at Oracle, then Google, now Facebook.
    fb2017more
    You at most get M1 from Google or fb.
    Feb 3 0
  • Two Sigma oreo yum
    Let’s say OP takes down level. What does it take then to get promoted to L7? To L8?
    Feb 3 1
    • Amazon amazons
      4 years to get to L7 on average. Very few ever make it to Director statistically.
      Feb 3
  • Two Sigma oreo yum
    OP, what level are you at Adobe? From your TC you seem very far below what a FANG director would make. Are you a software engineering manager? How big is your org? Do you manage managers? How do you deal with low performers?
    Feb 3 1
    • Adobe Hayden1
      OP
      It's EM L4; next level is Dir. I am not looking to switch as a Dir; only Sr Mgr.
      Feb 3
  • Facebook wcat
    Down level is almost guaranteed. Understand that M1 can easily start at 500k+
    Feb 3 1
    • Oracle mariachi
      Not worth it. When your company brand goes down, you'll be caught levels down. That hole is huge to dig out of. Time flies!
      Feb 3
  • eBay lyawo
    Will get down leveled
    Feb 3 0