This page aims to communicate Airbyte's principles around growth opportunities and provide guidelines for how to grow your career at Airbyte
Airbyte’s principles around growth can be summarized as:
- 1.We strive for meritocracy. Roles, levels, and titles are awarded based on demonstrated capability.
- 2.We’re strong believers in promoting from within and are committed to supporting our people’s growth.
- 3.We hire externally to fill gaps, accelerate company growth, and diversify our team.
We believe a meritocracy means the business will achieve stronger results, you will be surrounded by energizing & reliable peers, and that talented people will want to work at Airbyte. It gives us peer and leadership role models to emulate within Airbyte. Meritocracy ensures titles, promotions, and growth opportunities are awarded based on proven performance and results, not seniority, tenure, or political savvy. This helps to motivate our team to constantly learn and grow, trust the organization and, ultimately, build the culture that we strive to.
Awarding roles not based exclusively on merit causes significant problems. Our business will suffer as people will lose trust in the organization. Individuals will hold inflated titles setting them up to fail in their next role inside or outside Airbyte. It will be difficult to move people out of an inflated title without morale damage, even when both parties agree it’s the right thing to do. Lastly, it does not create role models to emulate within Airbyte.
For these reasons, a meritocracy serves everyone.
Promoting internally is important to our success. It promotes the culture that we are creating at Airbyte as the company grows. It motivates employees to improve and take on greater responsibilities, which in turn improves talent retention & business outcomes. And it makes Airbyte a much more attractive place to work.
Promoting internally requires effort on the part of both the employee & manager. First, we will do our best to put forth objective expectations for employees at each level (junior, senior, manager, etc). Employees are then expected to be proactive in their desire to improve and meet the expectations of their desired role, and they should own their growth trajectory. In addition, every manager’s responsibility at Airbyte is to help grow their reports via coaching, opportunity creation & selection, advising, and advocacy within the larger org.
Combining this with a meritocracy, this provides our employees with an excellent path for growth – any promotions or raises will have been completely deserved and signify material growth on the part of the employee.
It’s not possible or even desirable to 100% promote internally. External hires bring much needed perspective and expertise that help us grow as a company and as their peers. Plus, there may not be internal candidates for a role within an adequate time frame. This is especially true at a fast-growing company like Airbyte – new functions and roles appear all the time, and we may not have the talent to fill the need. Or sometimes, there might be an internal candidate who is only somewhat ready for a role, but the role is too critical to take a risk, and would have a large blast radius if the risk didn’t pay off. In those cases, we will opt to hire externally.
As an Airbyter looking to grow your responsibilities or level, your first goal should be to build a track record of success in your current role. Always optimize for making the largest impact, building the most leverage for your team, and generally living out Airbyte’s values. Understand where your strengths and weaknesses are, and actively work on the skillsets which take your output & impact to the next level. As you do this, align with your leadership about your desired growth direction, so they can help coach and guide you.
Do this repeatedly and you will earn your peers and leaders’ trust by showing that you can meet new challenges as they come up. Naturally, you will be a strong candidate for any new opportunities that come up, and will hopefully find the success you deserve.
Just as we evaluate external candidates for a track record of success in the role they are applying for, we expect internal candidates to demonstrate the abilities necessary to succeed at the role that they are stepping into. For example, if someone is trying to become a manager, we want to already see significant achievements in mentoring colleagues, technical leadership, and project management. As a rule of thumb, when someone is promoted, the reaction of the people on their team should be "nothing is changing; they were already mostly doing that role anyway." Promotions should not come as a surprise (see Meritocracy)!
It’s important to understand this process is rarely linear. As with any mastery-based learning, it may take some time (sometimes more time than you hope) to develop the skills or shore up the weaknesses preventing you from getting to the next level. That is normal and part of the process of growth within a meritocracy.