I live in the US and I am currently a Senior Engineer at a large multinational firm, where I have been working for over 10 years. I feel that I outgrew my current position about 2 years ago, and that I really need to be doing more advanced, higher-level work in order to continue my professional development. What I really want is to be promoted to Principal Engineer, which is the next level Engineering position and I strongly believe I am ready for it. I have discussed the situation with my management during my last two annual reviews. I explained that I have outgrown my current position - that I am ready to take on more responsibility and I have the ability to be doing higher-level work. However, this seems to keep falling on deaf ears. I get fobbed off with things like: "Well, I don't know if you're quite ready for a promotion to that level yet. However, I think if you get a couple more years of experience under your belt, we will see what we can do."
The thing I find particularly frustrating though, is that when I ask them to be more specific about what I am lacking for a more senior role and what gaps I can fill, they don't come back with anything concrete. I have asked them, if I can't have the promotion at this time, then can they at least provide a clearer roadmap of what gaps I need to fill and what I can do to fill those gaps? However, again all I seem to get is crickets.
The impression I get is that they are putting me in something of a 'holding pattern'. The lower-level work that I am currently doing needs to be done and we lost several less senior Engineers over the past couple of years. So, I suspect that they know I am ready for a promotion, but they want to keep me in my current role, because otherwise there wouldn't be anybody to do the lower level work.
So, without wanting to ramble on, what can I do to help persuade my management to, if not give me the promotion I need, at least be more serious about identifying a roadmap and/or timeframe for me to achieve that promotion? I very much feel that staying in this same position for another 2-3 years is not going to be in the best interests of my career.