Hiring someone at Drift — regardless of their past experience — is only the beginning. After that, it’s up to the new team member to prove that they can grow with the company.

And to make promotions as transparent as possible, we’ve come up with this internal 9-point checklist that we use to justify career progression:

  1. To be considered for a promotion, you need to own a number. If you’re in SEO it can be organic traffic, if you’re in content marketing it can be website traffic and if you’re in event marketing it can be the number of tickets sold. The important part is that everyone has a number and that they’re committed to growing that number.
  1. Speaking of ownership, you also need to own the area of marketing you’re responsible for. No one will micromanage you and you’ll get to figure stuff out for yourself. The catch, however, is that you’ll also be accountable for that area. And so if something breaks, it’ll be up to you to fix it.
  1. Another thing we require you to do is to plan and forecast your own success. As a company, we have some pretty lofty goals, but it’ll be up to you to dream up yours — and then report on the results.
  1. If we want to keep going after hypergrowth, and we do, we can’t settle for good enough. So to get your next promotion, you need to constantly raise the bar in your current role. You need to make it difficult for yourself to find someone to take over your role. Only then are you ready to move on.
  1. You also need to master your craft. Be it through video tutorials, books, role models or mentors, we’re expecting you to be a leading talent in your current role before you move onto a new one. A part of this is creating systems and checklists to help the next person succeed.
  1. To move forward in the company, you need to not only do your job well but also do it fast. You need to push the pace in every way that you can and forget about things that you think you know from your previous jobs. If it takes 4 months to build a new website somewhere else, you need to figure out how to get started with ours this week.
  1. The highest performing members of the marketing team are experts at managing their managers. They run their own 1:1s and give their superiors alternative solutions to a problem instead of just asking them for a decision. Managing up is key to taking the next step in your career.
  1. Before you can be promoted, you need to become really open to taking feedback and putting it into action. You need to stop taking even the most difficult feedback personally, and become truly coachable.
  1. Making your team successful is another trait that you’ll need to hone before getting a promotion. Start by hiring and onboarding an intern, and helping them become successful.

This is more of an art than a science, but providing everyone on the team with a clear checklist helps guide conversations and gives everyone a path to at least have a conversation about the next step.

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