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Last active Jun 13, 2019

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Mozilla Levels

Some Mozillians choose to share their levels (P<number>, S<number>, or M<number>) in their phonebook entries. If you want to share yours too, you can edit your entry and put the level in the "Other" field. Note that this is entirely at your discretion, and be careful not to pressure others to share if they don't want to!

I am a P<number> <role name> ([https://bit.ly/2LVA4Cz why I mention this])

What are levels?

As part of its Job Family Architecture (JFA) Mozilla divides its employees into "levels". For engineers, these are described here and are referred to as P1 through P8 (formerly IC1-IC8). Similar charts exist for other employee categories, with different letter designations (S and M).

Levels describe broad categories of roles, allowing comparison of impact between, for example, someone working on WebRender and someone working on cloud security.

Levels provide a path for career advancement. If you are looking for a promotion, the next level gives concrete behaviors you will be expected to demonstrate.

Finally, levels provide a basis for salary decisions. While there's plenty of room for discretion and compensation varies throughout the organization, levels do define broad bands for compensation.

What's My Level?

You can find your title by logging into Workday, clicking "Personal Information" -> "About Me" -> "Job". From that information, the matrix linked above should allow you to identify your level.

Why some people share their levels

While it is fairly easy to see management levels in the Mozilla organization chart, non-management levels are virtually invisible. When those who are comfortable with sharing their levels do so, that newly-visible information can help everyone. Insight into others' levels can help Mozillians find appropriate mentoring as well as identify any potential mis-leveling to ask about.

We hope that sharing level information will have similar effects to recent salary sharing efforts in the tech industry, which improve performance and support diversity.

Leveling Up and Mentoring

Leveling up is hard. It requires not only building skills, but also figuring out what skills are appropriate to focus on and how to get recognized for accomplishments. The first challenge is figuring out what other levels look like.

If you do want a promotion to the next level, the level descriptions don't give a lot of detail about how to develop the skills and behaviors you'll need. Who can you turn to? Your manager can help, but their job responsibilities are different. What if you could find another engineer at your desired level, and ask for advice and mentorship? They can provide concrete advice, examples from their own work, and perhaps even suggest opportunities for you to take a risk and try something new.

Publishing our levels can help us connect with colleagues who are interested in our mentorship and guidance.

Mis-leveling

Levels are not always consistently applied at Mozilla.

Whatever the reasons, a little "sunlight" can help remedy the issue. Perhaps you will see that a colleague is performing above their level -- that's an excellent opportunity to provide their manager with some positive feedback and suggest promotion. Perhaps you feel that you are performing above your level -- comparing your work to that of others at a higher level makes a persuasive argument for your own promotion.

Impact

Mozilla's level descriptions are phrased in terms of impact on Mozilla and Mozilla's mission -- not on sales figures, bugs closed, lines of code, or any other artificial measure. They help draw a line from your day-to-day expectations to the future of Mozilla and the Internet.

By sharing our levels, we help our colleagues find mentorship and identify mis-leveling. We hope that the improvements facilitated by this transparency will improve our collective impact. If the engineering community is a little more familiar with these ideas, we might just be more supportive of each other and as a result make a much bigger collective impact.

@tdsmith

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commented Mar 18, 2019

One Phonebook oddity is that the "I work on" field is searchable, but the "Other" field is not; depending on your feelings about discoverability, you could prefer to place this blurb in one field or the other.

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