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Title inflation. When someone takes a job with you they want the higher title so that they can get the next title at the next job, because in most orgs title and pay are tied together.

This is an unfortunate consequence of the stair step approach to salaries most big and medium sized companies use. A L4 person makes this much (or within that narrow band) and if you want more, you need to get promoted to L5, at which point you make a lot more rather than just a little more.

If we didn’t tie comp to a small number of discrete “levels” an instead made it a smoother slope, then people wouldn’t be so focused on levels and titles.

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