All related (8)
Sruthi Kumar
Head of Demand Generation, Inscribe | Formerly SendosoAugust 6

Ask yourself these two questions:

1) Are you already performing at the level you are aspiring to be in? The best orgs won't promote you soley on tenure, but also with peformance leveling. If you're already performing at a director level, you will get promoted. You can ask your team for a career pathing guide so you have something to hold yourself to. (And also show it off to your manager)

2) Do you have the time? Recall your last 1-1 with your manager. Did you spend the time complaining about having too much work? Or share, I had a time management problem, but I took care of it and here is how. I will tell you right now, the person in the second scenario will get promoted. Promotions come with additional responsobility and therefore additional work. If you are perceived as someone who cannot handle the workload, unfortunately, you won't be the one getting the promotion. (Side note - if your workload is and hours are unreasonable, that is a different issue, but if you look around and see other people manager their workload, ask them for advice!)

If your answers are yes to both, start having these conversations with your manager about what it will take/what they need to see from you to level up. Also, never underestimate your soft skills. If you can build inroads with sales, sdrs, and their leaders—you will be unstoppable and will quickly grow into a leader of the team!

Eric Martin
Vice President, Demand Generation, Stack OverflowSeptember 7

The leap from manager-level to director-level demand gen leadership might be one of the biggest lifts in career development.

Being a manager, coaching, and making sure your team is performing well and achieving goals are manager-level skills. Being able to develop a vision, strategy and creating a plan to executing on it is director-level. 

Directors are often given more substantial resources and budgets, and therefore held accountable at a higher level much more often. I think one of the most overlooked skills needed to leap from manager to director is effective executive-level communication. From a people development perspective, it's possible you'll also have direct reports with direct reports - so you'll need to help them guide and coach their own teams.

Erika Barbosa
Head of Growth Marketing, Observable | Formerly Issuu, OpenText, WebrootNovember 20

From my experience, the step from the Senior to Director level focused on a few areas:

  • Having a deep understanding of metrics and the tracking setup associated with these metrics.
  • Not always but often this includes being a people manager. I did a ton of research on leadership from people I deeply respect like Brené Brown.
  • Being able to tell the story and articulate performance and strategy to varying types of stakeholders. Know your audience and tailor the story based on what matters to them.

As for leadership career tracks, this is forever ongoing. I believe it is important to continue to study areas such as communication, how to be a better leader, and areas such as DEI. As you continue to grow in your career, emotional intelligence is key. Don’t just be a manager, be a leader. Help elevate others through your work. The natural byproduct is you too will see growth in your demand gen career.