Career options for long time google engineer?

Google / Eng wysiwys
Mar 1 141 Comments

I am a long time senior level Google engineer/ manager with a TC I am very happy with (600K annual, stock vesting being a significant portion of it). I am just no longer enjoying the work I do and as the company has grown, having to deal with the politics just wears me down. I'd rather have more technical work occupy my days. A bit of a golden handcuff situation.

I understand my TC is on the higher end, hence the questions: Are there companies in the bay area that would match my compensation from the start? Match my unvested stocks? I am looking for a fresh start but don't want to lose compensation significantly. Or is transferring within the company my only option? Please advise.

P.s. Not interested in starting or working in startups. I don't have the energy for that.

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TOP 141 Comments
  • Twitter RealJack
    To be honest at that comp you have to deal with politics no matter where you go. All large companies will have good and bad teams. Hope you find right place
    Mar 1 2
    • JOANY / Eng FQuQ40
      Tbh, what's the problem? Read the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and pursue your dreams on the side. With $600K per year, you can do almost anything in the world. If you're not happy with your current situation, you're making the money to turn whatever dreams you have into a reality. Take the money. Start pursuing that, and even if work isn't satisfying, it'll be a means to an end that you're getting where you want to be in life.

      I think switching to another company for the same thing is like being the famously ennui protagonists in a Steinbeck novel, going from place to place, trying to find happiness, only to find the problem isn't your environment, it's within.
      Mar 3
    • Primer AI / Eng
      gEMD88

      Primer AI Eng

      BIO
      Two time CTO with experience bringing SaaS to market. Can provide career advice.
      gEMD88more
      Wow. Really great.
      Mar 4
  • Google wqIe83
    Why don't you move to an IC role at same level? More tech work, similar comp. You might have a rough year, you should be fine after that. Is that not an option?
    Mar 1 15
    • Amazon tctasss
      I feel ashamed working in the same company with TGKE78 just by reading all this.
      Mar 4
    • Uber / Eng p3
      Who knew explaining the role of an individual contributor was so hard.
      Mar 4
    • Splunk KE94107
      At least where I work, ICs at the highest levels have to play the same “get assigned to high impact projects, or else” office politics as any of the senior managers. No such thing as rest & vest, it’s cut-throat whether you pursue tech track or management track. Seek work that’s fun for you.
      Mar 4
    • New yee
      Ironically explaining the role of an individual contributor takes a village
      Mar 5
    • Splunk KE94107
      TANSTAAFL😀
      Mar 5
  • Palo Alto Networks / Eng
    jCjL72

    Palo Alto Networks Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    jCjL72more
    If you are L6+ at Google, and your skillset aligns with what we're looking for, and there's good rapport in the interviews, then I think Palo alto networks should be able to match that. Shoot me a DM if you want a referral.
    Mar 1 5
    • Google / Eng yogi bear
      I don't know how you can tell skillset alignment just because he is L6+. You must be a genius recruiter.
      Mar 1
    • Palo Alto Networks / Eng
      jCjL72

      Palo Alto Networks Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      jCjL72more
      I don't know if he/she has skill alignment. I just want the referral bonus if he decides to interview here and things go well. I'll add an "and" to make that sentence less confusing.
      Mar 1
    • Indeed / Other
      TC1Billi

      Indeed Other

      PRE
      Lyft
      TC1Billimore
      He about that 💵
      Mar 3
    • New / Eng lzf66
      Now you know the culture at PAN.
      Mar 3
    • Apple / Eng \_(>_<)_/
      I think he said IF (L6+ && skill alignment). Apparently he is looking for both criteria to make a good referral case.
      Mar 3
  • PayPal TJFa61
    "I want to still make a lot of money but don't want to deal with politics and don't want to work that hard at starting my own thing." Do I have the paraphrasing right? Lol. Retire. Take up fishing.
    Mar 3 0
  • Facebook cncY80
    FB E7/IC7 will get close to this in the bay area. There is some politics, but not nearly as much as Google (I speak from experience).
    I'm so much happier here, there is a ton of really hard technical work to do and at this level you're really expected to focus on that and not have to deal with bullshit.

    Happy to chat more privately if you want details.
    Mar 3 8
    • Facebook uuwsjsnw
      Ymmv. Promoted to IC6 here smoothly
      Mar 3
    • Facebook gEKd54
      E6/E7 - I've seen good experience, relatively limited politics
      Mar 3
    • Facebook uuwsjsnw
      Prod
      Mar 4
    • Facebook cncY80
      Yeah I really have to wonder where that is
      At 7+ the pool is very limited and we go out of our way to avoid politics.
      Sure at 6 it does still happen a bit but that is no different than anywhere else.

      If you're getting a lot of push back, maybe you need to ask yourself why. I'm not saying the problem is you, but maybe it's not entirely the 6s and 7s you're dealing with.

      Also, Amazon: working to make Jeff richer while destroying their workforce. Well done.
      Mar 4
  • Google EGC
    I'm slightly more junior but am finding myself in a similar situation... I'm pretty sure if you leave Google, you will take a major step back in TC. Most companies outside of FANG won't pay nearly as well (30-50% pay cut). Most companies in FANG deal with the same political warfare. The two options I've landed on is either having to step up in responsibility outside of Google (e.g. CTO) or transfer teams within Google.
    Mar 1 3
    • Amazon Pumpkin🧐
      You will not have to deal with the compensation you have if you join the A from FANG
      Mar 3
    • Zillow Group / Eng anKW36
      Unicorns, usually pay on par/better than FANG, but obviously it’s mostly in paper money. So that in itself is a trade off.
      Mar 3
    • Indeed / Eng on 🔥
      IDK why you thing of a pay cut. In my experience every tier 2 or 3 company is paying same or more money for l6+ engineers from Google
      Mar 3
  • Lyft crossfire
    Come to Lyft. Keep your pay and skip the politics mostly*, obviously depends on the team.
    Mar 1 2
    • Lyft marvinx
      No politics? You must be kidding. Lyft is a shitshow
      Mar 3
    • Facebook hphpd
      🍿
      Mar 4
  • Amazon Cynimist
    Amazon can meet that with a Principal Engineer (Amazon L7) offer in the Bay Area. LinkedIn Sr. Staff. FB E7 definitely, not sure about E6. Lyft L7 definitely, Uber L6 should also get you there. So lots of options. Stick with IC roles if you hate politics.
    Mar 3 6
    • Amazon / Eng stackit
      Ouch
      Mar 3
    • Amazon Cynimist
      Edited: I meant sr. staff at LinkedIn, thanks for the catch.
      Mar 3
    • Facebook wDco60
      Fb e6 can come close to 550k. With stock price improvement it can go higher easily
      Mar 3
    • Facebook / Eng pookyh
      One data point: FB E6 with a single DE moves to >650.
      Mar 4
    • Facebook
      pacan

      Facebook

      BIO
      Live a simple life
      pacanmore
      FB e6 can be over 600k. You still have to deal with politics at that level.
      Mar 5
  • Amazon bayyyzoes
    Hooli is hiring at double L6 with an FB+ TT signing bonus that vest retroactively to birth. FAANG multipliers apply to RSU refreshers.
    Mar 3 9
    • Airbnb aaaaaiiirr
      Aviato
      Mar 4
    • HCL / IT
      XYRg64

      HCL IT

      PRE
      CIBER
      XYRg64more
      @bayyyzoes. No.
      Mar 4
    • Amazon ♡♡
      Can you write program that classifies images containing hotdogs or not, if you can, it might be worth millions.
      Mar 4
    • Amazon bayyyzoes
      Hooli is working on that problem. They’re hiring like crazy. 400 TC for new grads.
      Mar 4
    • VMware BobbleHat
      This could change the internet as we know it. Super competitive space now.
      Mar 4
  • Oracle now@google
    Move to a different team or rest and vest. In other big companies you will have more politics, but also nepotism and incompetence to deal with.
    Mar 1 0
  • Lockheed Martin Qn8ghYT
    Yeah, unfortunately to stay in that range, I doubt much will change - it's "a devil you know situation". You'll have to trade off on something, pay or culture/politics
    Mar 1 0
  • Uber fkfj
    Is this L7 or 6
    Mar 1 0
  • Honeywell / Eng that1guy
    Can you share your career path? How many years of experience and each position. What do you think made you get to the point you’re at today, financially and career wise.
    Mar 1 0
  • Microsoft gfba68
    Microsoft would pay you that much if you interviewed well, but there certainly won't be less politics
    Mar 3 11
    • Google RockLobsta
      In my org 66 and 67 principals are getting 700-900k offers.
      Mar 3
    • Google palsjay
      I get around 380k as principal lvl 65. I didn’t think 66 did that much better, but I heard 67 is where comp gets much more serious.
      Mar 4
    • Google RockLobsta
      Palsjay, when did you get your offer and did you have any competing offers? That seems low for 65.
      Mar 4
    • Axon
      uanekN

      Axon

      PRE
      Axon, Uber, Facebook
      uanekN more
      palsjay is right about the numbers.
      Mar 5
    • Microsoft gfba68
      l67 will absolutely get $600k or higher in bay area. l66 could as well with strong competing offers
      Mar 5
  • Apple EdenFruit
    You sir sound like an ass. I'd kill to be in your shoes. I have 20 years in the industry and make a third of that.

    Just do something on the side to get your mind off the BS.
    Mar 3 2
    • Uber / Eng p3
      You make only $200k at Apple?
      Mar 4
    • VMware BobbleHat
      Might work at the Genius Bar
      Mar 4
  • VMware boom2
    VMware principal engineer can get $1m but you have to be very good technical​ly and there are very few PEs in our company.
    Mar 3 7
    • Pivotal vhSY35
      BU? Business unit?
      Mar 3
    • VMware boom2
      You thought only FANG guys are rich in this world :-). The difference is that PE at VMware is not an ordinary person. It is above Sr director but technically...a very sound person technically and in multiple areas.
      Mar 3
    • VMware vmk007
      also one PE is a single point of failure.
      Mar 3
    • VMware piutesg
      vmk007 that depends on the PE 😜
      Mar 3
    • VMware BobbleHat
      There are like 10 vp’s per PE
      Mar 4
  • Interview Kickstart
    Soham@IK

    Interview Kickstart

    PRE
    Box
    BIO
    Founder, Interview Kickstart.
    Soham@IKmore
    If you would like to teach computer science at a flexible schedule (full time or part time) with very good compensation then please let me know.

    We have other Googlers on staff with your profile. It is extremely satisfying and flexible work while not losing much pay compared to the salary you make.
    Mar 3 2
    • Google WdrW70
      I’d like to teach!
      Mar 3
    • Interview Kickstart
      Soham@IK

      Interview Kickstart

      PRE
      Box
      BIO
      Founder, Interview Kickstart.
      Soham@IKmore
      For anyone looking to do this: soham@interviewkickstart.com
      Mar 4
  • Microsoft Ldudu
    Have pinged you in chat. Can you check when you get a chance
    Mar 1 0
  • Microsoft euchrbdj
    Former Googler posted he recently moved to Microsoft Azure for L66 or 67 and got $750k or something like that. He said he was L6 at Google.
    Mar 3 2
    • Google TensorCow
      $750k is usually L68 at Microsoft.
      Mar 5
    • Microsoft euchrbdj
      Yeah that is what I thought but he said he was principal at Microsoft hence not 68.
      Mar 6
  • Gusto YKjW00
    You mention not wanting to work in startups, but what about late-stage private companies? We’re still building things that are fairly new (meaning you get to define products and work on very early versions of architecture), but it’s not like we’re going totally away anytime. We’ve got 60,000+ paying customers and we’re growing each quarter.

    We can probably come within striking distance of your total comp, and I bet we beat it over the long term if you’re willing to wait 3-5 years for liquidity.

    Feel free to reach out to our team at Gusto.
    Mar 3 3
    • Google / Eng yogi bear
      what does Gusto do
      Mar 3
    • Gusto YKjW00
      We build “people software” (payroll, benefits, HR suite) for small businesses. Think Workday but simpler, built specifically for companies with fewer than 100 employees. There are 5,000,000+ such companies in the US today.
      Mar 3
    • Gusto YKjW00
      Feel free to reach out to me directly if you’re interested or I think you can get recruiting by applying to any open engineering job...
      Mar 3