Career trajectory for Google vs. a prop shop?

Epic / Eng slitstils
Jan 7, 2018 27 Comments

So I've got an offer letter from a prop shop in Chicago and am finishing up team matching with Google (but don't have an offer letter yet; recruiter says it should be in next week pending SVP approval). All in all the compensation will probably be pretty similar but the Google position is in Seattle. I'm somewhat more excited about the project I've matched with at Google although I think the prop shop would be interesting, but from a career perspective will one set me up a lot more than the other down the road? It seems like people in the know know that prop shops have high hiring standards but the Google name is bigger (and the project I matched with has the potential to be decently high profile)

Overall comparison:

Prop shop:

I'm already closer to Chicago, have a lot of friends there, would rather not leave all that behind. More resources for certain hobbies/interests of mine

Higher base salary/bonuses

Lots of really knowledgeable C++ people (company sends some to CppCon, employs Boost, GCC contributors)

Smaller company, easier to advance, make a difference, get individual attention

Chicago has a lower cost of living

I'll probably learn a lot about lower-level performance stuff since that matters so much to them

Google:

Seattle has better geography (mountains, trees, ocean, weather, etc.)

More of a tech hub than Chicago for later on

Potentially higher total compensation although I don't have those numbers yet

Google is a more recognizable name on a resume

Decently high profile project, will be working with fun hardware stuff, manager has been successful with similar high profile hardware stuff before

More potential to move around to different things within the company

Prop shop's offer:

130k base

45k guaranteed first year bonus

20k starting bonus

5k moving expenses

Google recruiter sounded kinda nervous when I told him that but said he thinks he can match it on total compensation.

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TOP 27 Comments
  • Mixpanel LlwD75
    what's a prop shop?
    Jan 7, 2018 2
    • Epic / Eng slitstils
      OP
      Proprietary trading firm. They trade options, derivatives, crypto, and other products using the firm's own money (as opposed to a hedge fund which does the same thing with other people's money).
      Jan 7, 2018
    • Mixpanel LlwD75
      nice, TIL. thanks!
      Jan 7, 2018
  • Facebook observerX
    What level is google offering you ? They can easily beat 175k in TC even for L3
    Jan 7, 2018 3
    • Epic / Eng slitstils
      OP
      Pretty sure it's T3 (I only have 1.5 years experience and stumbled a bit on one interview). Previously I was under the impression that T3 salary tops out around 120 but I've since been informed that's not the case (talked to someone who got an offer at 140).
      Jan 7, 2018
    • Google bPBa22
      They'll bump up your stock not your salary. Doesn't matter tho since it's all liquid and the stock actually grows :)
      Jan 8, 2018
    • Epic / Eng slitstils
      OP
      Also do you know how many times competing offers usually bounce off each other? Since I was dumb the last time around this is actually my first time having competing offers.
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Amazon corgi
    If you think you'd make more of an impact and get promoted faster at the prop shop then I think you should go for that. Can always switch back to Google later
    Jan 7, 2018 0
  • Facebook / Eng RikSanchez
    Get Google to beat prop firm offer, then get prop firm to beat Google. New grads at JS/2 Sig can make $250k (with signing bonus) so tell them this offer is too low if Google beats it.
    Jan 7, 2018 5
    • Epic / Eng slitstils
      OP
      I'm gonna try for that general strategy, but this firm also isn't in the same tier as JS/2 Sig
      Jan 7, 2018
    • Facebook / Eng RikSanchez
      Good luck!
      Jan 7, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      What is JS?
      Jan 7, 2018
    • Microsoft Jungleman
      @deported Jane street bro... optiver, SIG, Peak6, jump trading all got good salary
      Jan 7, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      Ah, of course.
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Google / Eng Cv6Zuo3
    Spend a few years at Google, will turn your resume to gold. Then you can work where ever you want.. but just don’t get to comfortable with the perks, they just do not existing outside Google/FB.
    Jan 8, 2018 1
    • Google / Eng stewart399
      Is that really true re:resume effect? Googlers are a dime a dozen in sv
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Google bPBa22
    Google will pay a good bit more after negotiation. What's the team for prop?
    Jan 7, 2018 1
    • Epic / Eng slitstils
      OP
      Gonna discuss that with them this coming week. I know the manager's name but haven't met him yet.

      But I interviewed as a C++ developer so it'll likely involve at least some work on the trading platform (as a guess).
      Jan 7, 2018
  • Two Sigma / Eng
    Faced with a similar choice, I went with the smaller company. More chance to actually do something. Plus, If you got into Google once, you can do it again later.
    Jan 7, 2018 0
  • Airbnb def
    Google. Even if tc is better at the alternative you will make so much more wherever you switch next having the big G on your resume.
    Jan 8, 2018 1
    • Google bPBa22
      Too bad Apple/Amazon exist, Airbnb could've been the big A
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Deutsche Bank LPeJ52
    My 2 cents :
    At prop shop you will always be a second rung employee - the traders and ppl dealing with pnl are going to be always at the forefront of things. Also as you mentioned it's not a very top prop shop, and the offer is good but not exceptional I feel.

    At Google tech rules - though you still will be relatively junior at L3. But with good performance compensation can grow rapidly. And you will have a stellar brand name. Also as you mentioned the google team is good.

    Also it eventually boils down to your interests also - do you like trading etc .

    One option is You can join the Prop shop and if you don't like it - you can join Google without interview in < 1 yr I think. But coming from financial sector my vote is for Google :)
    Jan 9, 2018 0
  • Google / Eng YourVP
    Wrong move telling Google recruiter your offer. That number looks kinda low
    Jan 8, 2018 1
    • Epic / Eng slitstils
      OP
      Really? Before I told him this he said salary would probably come in around 116k and 175k excluding starting bonus especially in Chicago seems on par with other L3 offers I've seen
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Google bPBa22
    ^ No Google comp will be higher. This is a competing offer and the match will be very good.
    Jan 8, 2018 1
    • Google bPBa22
      Lmao according to people at Shaw and Two Sig first year comp is 170-200 and rises to 200-250 in four years (its on reddit). Google pays more given the same perf (since prop comp is bonus based) and in guaranteed money.
      Jan 8, 2018
  • Microsoft Gbiftuj
    I would choose Google. Your next move will be much better if you jump from Google.
    Jan 7, 2018 0