Breaking into a FAANG type company mid career without a referral

Jul 22 22 Comments

I feel like I am hitting a wall career progression / aspiration wise. Im currently at Director level with a small midwest company. My specialty is in Infrastructure (Cloud and on-premise) and Security.

7yoe
BS: Math/Satistics
MS: Computer Information Systems
Certs: CISSP, CCSP
TC: 110k (all salary)

Im not sure what I can do to become a more attractive candidate for companies like Microsoft or FAANG. To be honest, im not even sure what job titles I should be looking for. I feel like I need a referral to even have a shot, but I dont have any connections. Overall feeling stuck.

Any suggestions on what I can work on to improve my chances of getting noticed?

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TOP 22 Comments
  • Microsoft aCCX36
    I did it. And my background had cobol. Just leetcode, system design, mock interviews and give enough interviews to crack one( by law of large numbers you will crack one)
    Jul 22 4
    • Facebook bUJh14
      I feel like op is asking how to pass the resume part.
      Jul 22
    • Microsoft aCCX36
      I did not do anything special. Just applied to 1000+ jobs. It’s tough at first but you will get calls back.
      Jul 22
    • Davey leetRabbit
      Hey aCCX36 can I DM you..I am also a Midwestern who is in the same boat
      Jul 22
    • OP
      Thanks for replying! In person and phone interviews have never been a problem with me. It’s getting there that’s a challenge. I definitely have been practicing application blitzkrieg.
      Jul 22
  • New Cvr27
    Jul 22 0
  • Credit Karma / Data
    SrfrBoi69

    Credit Karma Data

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    SrfrBoi69more
    You need to network and get a referral. Unfortunately, that’s the game. Your odds are 10x better if you know the Hiring Manager or you’re a degree of separation away.
    Jul 22 0
  • Snapchat TyCaT50
    How's your coding skills? Does title matter? Junior titles at FAANG offer higher TC.
    Jul 22 3
    • OP
      After reading Blind, I definitely see that. My coding skills are intermediate (all self taught). Mostly python and C#. No professional coding experience, just personal projects.
      Jul 22
    • Snapchat TyCaT50
      Looks like you already have two Security certs as well. There are a lot of jobs you could consider. Depending on your skill level Security (Infrastructure) Engineer / could suit you. Consider Security Analyst if necessary to get a foot in the door.
      Jul 22
    • Microsoft / Data _john_doe
      Check Amazon careers page they have positions related to security. In msft i dont think there is a separate title for security people but we do have SWEs doing security related stuff. My background is in education + math. I was a math teacher for 7 years then decided to go into tech. Had a masters in AI then. Started as a contractor then got full time in the same team. Dont loose hope. 👍
      Jul 24
  • Oath - - _ _ .
    7 YOE is mid-career? Are you going to retire when you're 35? Also, a director with this yoe sounds funny.
    Anyway, you don't have to jump straight to a faang. If it doesn't work out, go for a junior management position at a better known company and move on from there.
    Why would this work? Because at 7 yoe you're just getting started. Plenty of years ahead.
    Jul 22 1
    • OP
      Sorry, my interpretation of “mid career” is simply more than entry level. Also, I agree about current title, however It is what it is. I was promoted quickly within my company. I definitely do not expect to be at the same title level at a larger company.
      Jul 22
  • Microsoft Anankaie
    One thing you may need to be ready for is title deflation when you come in. Beyond that, the first thing you need to decide on is whether you would be looking to enter at the individual contributor or people management tracks.
    Jul 22 5
    • OP
      Absolutely no expectation of title. Just looking to contribute and further my skill set!
      Jul 22
    • Microsoft Anankaie
      Then to the second question - are you looking for more of an individual contributor role, or a people management role?
      Jul 22
    • OP
      I am looking for individual contributor positions.
      Jul 22
    • Microsoft Anankaie
      For MSFT positions, I would look primarily at Senior-level to lower-Principal-level positions. You will primarily see a requirement for 10+ YOE for Primcipal, but your MS may offset this gap.

      Is there a particular thing you would want to work on / place you want to work at?

      For other FAANG, I am not sure, but Amazon <> Microsoft I found the titles to be pretty consistent between the two when I last looked.
      Jul 22
    • OP
      Looking for positions in the cloud architect family. Open to travel but would prefer not to move from the Chicago area
      Jul 22
  • PayPal oArE77
    7 yoe might be too less for a director level position in FAANG. May be a Sr Manager or Lead Manager might be a good position to target level wise. Also you will be surprised that you can demand a lot more than your current TC for those positions. Keep in mind that this area is many times more expensive than most of US barring areas like Manhattan.
    Jul 22 1
    • OP
      Definitely not hung up on titles or role type. Just looking for something where I can contribute at a higher capacity
      Jul 22
  • Amazon Northman
    SysDE or SRE maybe, if you are a solid coder? Otherwise Solutions Architect or similar might work for you.
    Jul 22 0

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