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This is very insightful - especially the part about it being normal to chase promotion yourself.

In your opinion, what is the right time horizon to switch roles and/or companies to maintain your edge?

Let me qualify: I don't see it as "chasing promotion" per se. It's more like laying the groundwork, in a "dress for the job you want" sort of way. Basically, it's a lot easier to argue for a promotion if you let your boss know of your intent/career goals, and then you show progress to the point where you can say "look, X and Y can vouch for the fact that I'm already de facto doing a lot of what's expected of that role"

For leadership level, that typically means having valuable working relationships with other parts of the org that your current role might not necessarily require you to interact with.

In my experience, typically first promo might happen at around 2-4 years of tenure (basically whatever is considered enough time to "prove yourself"). Further promos might be more difficult, as they might involve carving a path via some sort of org restructuring.

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