Product management career ladders
Examples, templates, titles, and attributes from 20+ companies, including Facebook, Google, DoorDash, Airbnb, Instacart, Lyft, Uber, and many more
👋 Hey, I’m Lenny and welcome to a 🔒 subscriber-only edition 🔒 of my weekly newsletter. Each week I tackle reader questions about product, growth, working with humans, and anything else that’s stressing you out about work. Send me your questions and in return I’ll humbly offer actionable real-talk advice. Now, on to this week’s post…
Q: I’m working on our product management career ladder, and I’m looking for examples of how other companies do it.
Career ladders (a.k.a. leveling frameworks, career tracks, competencies, etc.) have long been secretive and mysterious. I’m not totally sure why. I don’t see how sharing these publicly gives anyone a competitive advantage, and every new company ends up scratching their heads and coming up with something new. Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s especially painful for product management—a role that is already so inconsistently defined and evaluated.
Let’s change this.
I’ve collected dozens of career ladders from all of the big companies, and though I’m not at liberty to share them fully, below, I’m going to share the high-level frameworks of how 20+ large companies structure their PM role:
Titles at each level
Attributes/competencies/skills they evaluate for
Where the IC and manager tracks split
A handful of public career ladders
A bunch of templates to get you started
If you’d like to contribute to this effort by adding your company, or fix a mistake (I’m sure I got something wrong), please DM me or leave a comment.
Takeaways from reviewing these career ladders
Two-thirds of companies have both an IC track and a manager track.
When there’s a manager track, you can switch at L6 (i.e. Sr. Product Manager)
The most common title sequences: