I am interested in making the jump to a more senior role, e.g. Director, from a senior technical role. However, I can see two paths for promotion:

1) you look after your manager, and once she gets promoted she will remember you and you will move up the ranks together

2) the ping-pong method: two years at a company, if you don't get promoted (or at least a raise) seek a better role somewhere else

Right now I am in a situation like 1), but my manager is interested in getting promoted and hiring an old friend for her current role. Other execs are doing the same: pushing the existing team for success, and then once they get established they hire their friends under them.

I am full of ideas, suggestions and solutions about how the company might improve, but I am usually shot down by my own manager whenever I try to discuss things beyond my technical role. Basically, I am valuable to her, but I need to stay where I am to support her own plans. And the same happens to even more senior people with some new execs.

All these execs are not going up anytime soon (just promoted, or recently joined). How do I actually get into a more senior role? I am at a loss here. Especially because it's not black and white, I am treated well but there is NO career plan in sight.

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    You get a better position at another company and move diagonally up. – RoboKaren Sep 11 '17 at 21:54
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    One more method for promotion: interview and get an offer for the position you want at another company, then IF your current management asks, "What can we do to keep you here?", that's your opening to dictate a raise and promotion. But you better be willing to take the other offer, because management might just say, "We'll miss you, best of luck in your future endeavors." – Nolo Problemo Sep 11 '17 at 22:20
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    @NoloProblemo This tactic is too close to a counter-offer, and it is generally a bad idea to accept a counter-offer. – Nelson Sep 12 '17 at 2:51

It is generally easier even without cliques to move forwards in new employment. That is probably your best recourse rather than playing office politics.

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