I'm a software engineer working in the games industry. I recently started a conversation with my manager about moving to senior. He mentioned that I probably don't yet have enough experience to be considered for senior in the near future. I asked him and a number of other co-workers how much work experience they think I have, and they all said they think I have about four years total. (At this company people are typically promoted at about seven years.)
Problem is, I have more experience than four years. A short work history: I started my first job in the industry in a small company in 2004. I worked there for about two years. Then I moved into contracting and independent game development, which I did for five years. After that I decided to go back to school for four years. Two years ago, I started my current job. So, assuming my co-workers have included my two years at this company in their estimate of my work experience, they think I only worked for two years before coming to this position, whereas I worked seven.
I believe there are two factors which affect their impression:
- Much of the work that I did was in contracting and independent game development, and people are (perhaps subconsciously) discounting that time since it didn't closely match the current work environment.
- People know that I am a recent graduate and assume that the amount of time I spent working before that must have been minimal.
Those are reasonable assumptions to make, but I believe them to be erroneous. Since the opinions of my teammates and the directors affect whether I'll be up for promotion, I believe I need to do something to address this. How can I go about resolving this problem? (Or alternatively, should I not expect to be able to resolve this?)