Am I Stagnating? 35 YO TC < 130K DC Area 3rd Tier Company
I've been reading blind posts for a while now. It's shown me what's possible in Tech and I find it amusing at times as well. Thank you.
I'm in sort of a cross roads of my career and wanted get some feedback from fellow Blind members. Some background about me.
- 10+ years of industry experience
- 2+ years as lead (current), 4+ years as backend SWE
- 4 years as analyst (did PM/QA/DevOps etc hybrid role) company allowed experimenting
- 3rd tier company (may be 2nd tier), < 10k employees
- Recently married
- No Debt, No mortgage (renting), No Student Loans
- TC between 100K & 130K,
- Saving 4k/month on average, 3.5k covers rent/entertainment/expenses etc
- Only 100K+ saved so far and it's in Wealthfront :( $0 401k
- Technically I'm an average Joe (i think). Nothing specialized like ML/AI but I can ship products
- WLB is the very good. 2 remote days/week, Short Commute, more time with family
- Company is in boring enterprise space, I feel they will do well even in recession if it comes.
I've been told in my last performance review that my next career step would be SDM, no timeline was given but I've seen people take 2- 4 years to go from Lead to SDM. People who joined the company the same time as I did are already Directors. I didn't understand how to build social capital and influence for all these years. Finally, I've started to learn a bit now :) and greasing the wheel. I'm happy with the Job and the team I've built. Tech stack is pretty modern too.
I want to optimize for career growth and increase my TC as we are planning on having kids in the future and I want to be able to save enough as a sole bread winner. I'm OK with not buying a house. Wife doesn't care either. At this rate, math doesn't add up though. I'll be able to save roughly 1M after working 20 years (50k/year average roughly), that too without any unforeseen circumstances that could disrupt employment.
I don't see my current TC going over 150K in the next 5 years by staying here even if I'm promoted. I've checked GlassDoor and Paysa to get a sense of average salary.
I've tried Leetcoding couple of times and find my self spending 30 min on easy questions I've never seen before. I feel dumb. So I'm going to spend good amount of time preparing for few months if i plan to look outside.
I haven't interviewed in many many years, I tried once 6 years ago and did so bad that I felt very down and canceled all other onsite. I regularly get emails from FB in DC and Amazon recruiters but I don't respond as I'm not ready yet.
With all that said, I'm thinking about few options below. Let me know what you would do if you were in my situation.