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The Hourglass Framework: How To Get Promoted

The Hourglass Framework: How To Get Promoted

If you're trying to get promoted, get a raise or generally get recognition within an org, you should imagine an hourglass with sand gradually trickling down.

The size of the hourglass, and the length of time it takes to run out, is dependent on your job title.

If you're an individual contributor: it takes 3 months to run out, then it flips over and starts again.

If you're a people manager: 6 months.

If you're a director: 1 year.

If you're a VP: 2 years.

If you're a CXO: 3 years.

You should have at least one major win before your hourglass runs out.

So if you're an IC, structure your work in quarters: every 3 months, you need to have something worth shouting about so that you build relevance and credibility in your org. When you're an IC, your name needs to keep popping up as someone who does great work.

If you're a people manager, your org recognizes that it takes longer to create impact, but generally you should be doing something meaningful every 6 months.

As a director, you're a bit more removed from the day-to-day, but if you don't have 1 big, visible, recognizable win every year, people will start wondering – what does that person do here, anyway?

And so on.

The hourglass framework a useful reminder that your internal branding matters, and that within organizations you have to manage your reputation.

Some of the most important branding and marketing campaigns you'll ever do as a marketer are the ones targeted at influencing your own teammates.