I’m so frustrated by the middle manager ceiling. I have good experience, extensive education, and have had multiple recruiters at recruiting agencies tell me they are baffled by my lack of any call backs. I’ve applied to a ton of director level and above jobs over the last 6 months or so (like 500+), and I’ve received a total of 2 interviews, 1 of which I just got rejected from on Friday. Are other BI and data science professionals here seeing the same barrier in moving to a director level role?

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Many directors applying below their level right now. Also it's now Q4. Posted jobs aren't open seats. Shit show for foreseeable future. Gotta know someone to have a chance. But keep trying. Good luck! What else can you do? Don't give up.

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Yes, same here. A lot of times I don’t even get the rejection email, just left hanging. Even entry level positions that encourage you to apply despite not having all of the qualifications. Was rejected with them replying “Going with another candidate that better aligns with this position.” My degree is data analytics, how much more aligned would you like me to be.

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Yes, same problem here… unfortunately

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That’s the problem with management it goes from ability to politics in a blink of an eye. Even faster than being a worker bee

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I face the issue in promotion to the next role of a director.. I cleared all rounds.. been in my current role for over 10 yrs, 7 of which at my current company. Infact I made mark at all technology towers and all global regions.. been applying to the director roles over the last year. Got to the very final rounds 5 times. All times rejected that they are selecting someone who is already at the Director level so they don't need to wait for my ramp up. If that's the case, I can never match it. Stopped even applying...

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Thank you. Appreciate the recommended approach. However, the company is only hopping with lateral role fulfillment. I was the only one from my band level to reach till the final round. But just that either they opened the role for someone they already identified or need one of that same level to move in. My band does not have exposure to certain needs of that role until I am allowed there. So I will never be able to gain that experience in the band I am in.. I can reach that role probably at another company... not by promotion here

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It becomes more political at that level. Networking matters a lot more.

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Same here. I have about 15 years experience in data science and machine learning. Been applying to SM, Director and Principal roles for about a year now. I think i have got 3 interviews so far - didn't get through in 2 of them, and i rejected the third because of pay. The fact that i don't get a call for a screening interview even for job roles that look like a 100% match, makes me question what's really happening. Is it ageism? Is it because i am on a visa?

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I talked to a recruiter recently because even though I'm happy where I am and am up for a promotion, I'm worried about the future of my company. He told me that he recommends staying where I am and going for the promotion. The reason is that in this tight job market, employers have no incentive to hire somebody at a new level when they have plenty of candidates who are already at that level. Why would they hire a novice director when they can hire somebody who's already a director?

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interesting comment from your recruiter. it was the exact opposite for two hires in my company this year. the first came in as a Principal PM but then was instantly promoted after a few months into a Director position for whatever reason to oversee their department as well as being a temp director for my Design dept (that’s another story 🤦🏻‍♂️ ). The second was the person who was meant to take over as the design director but we’re so cheap / desperate that we struggled and settled for a Principal. The temporary Director is now more or less permanent. Execs probably thought we forgot and didn’t know what they were looking for.

Thanks everyone for the advice and thoughts. I have much to think about. Also, I did snag one interview for tomorrow, so wish me luck!

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Too many people at this level and the competition is super tough. Hang in there, I’m sure the market will eventually evolve.

It's pretty much the same across the industry on any level. I have no idea what the expectations of employers are, but it seems like the hiring industry is living its own life and reposting outdated jobs and has no idea of the details of those jobs. Meanwhile, the employers are either promoting from within or hiring by reference. I've applied for approximately 1500+ positions and had only 3 interviews. Two of them I got rejected after the second phase, one is pending and I'm not sure what to expect.

I stopped running for Director roles here in US. Was CTO in Europe. Decided to stay TPM and be more focused on total compensation instead of title.
Wish you to find your role soon or start giving a snack as I do 😃

Internal promotions or prior director titles is what I have heard matter.

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