Has high TC been worth it for you?

May 14 305 Comments

Those who moved from a slow environment to fast, has the high TC been worth it for you? Let's say if you moved from Microsoft/Cisco/Intuit to FB/Netflix/Amazon?

I work non-tech, TC is 5 digit. It's a laid-back company, consisting of middle aged employees (I am in my early 30s and considered young at my org) so everyone works 9-5. In 3 years, I have never stayed past 5pm. I spend my evenings with my wife and kid. Not much office politics, everyone is warm and friendly.

I am debating if I should leave this environment and move towards a higher paying job. Rat race in tech seems overwhelming. I see my tech friends working late, environment is toxic, there's pressure to perform, ageism is real, and they take breaks to avoid burnout. But they earn 3-5x than me. Is it really worth it? Can anyone who made such a move provide insights?

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TOP 305 Comments
  • Apple Jony
    What makes you think amazon and netflix is fast environment?

    For me its just much more than TC,

    With more responsibilities comes great power. And you get to work with some amazing talented people and make something wonderful and put it out there.

    Not sure if I can do that with Laid back mid 30s crowd
    May 14 33
    • Apple toooooo
      @thisnight sounds like a game company. Hope things improve.

      The whole thing with WLB and TC really depends on each cases. I do not work more than 40 hrs a week, (except this week. Stupid build schedules :p) but I still find my work making impact in products I really case about. And after work, I get to enjoy time with my wife and friends.

      I do however want to say that for your career, you should always think about two steps ahead. Preprare yourself for what may come, so you can keep supporting your family and continue that lifestyle you are enjoying right now.

      (Life is an irony. You have to serve others to be served, sacrifice yourself if you want to be saved, and work harder if you want to keep enjoying your life... 🤣)
      May 16
    • Apple TdCx58
      I think about TC in more than just financial terms. Do I enjoy my day to day? Can I spend quality time with my family? Does my work provide flexibility? That being said, it’s also possible to get overly comfortable with ones surroundings and not realize that those things are all possible in addition to a higher TC. Not necessarily easy to achieve, but possible.
      May 16
    • Neurocrine python 4.0
      OP
      I agree on the impact part. I work on ensuring there is no delay in receiving drugs for Parkinson's patients so I presume the impact is higher than engineers designing YouTube recommendation engines. But they get paid significantly higher somehow.
      May 16
    • New / Data
      ternaryBit

      New Data

      PRE
      IBM
      BIO
      Technology geek in Data Mining space, helping businesses get meaningful insight in data oceans.
      ternaryBitmore
      @python 4.0 your thoughts reflect a nature of humans, who typically follow Maslow's hierarchy of needs. At this point, you are looking for a new challenge that will bring you on the next level, and it's a good sign. However reality could be harsh, you can spend efforts to reach new heights at some expense, could be mental health or family relationships etc.
      May 16
    • Apple toooooo
      Impact doesn’t always translate to TC. Firefighters don’t get paid that much, for instance. Money is purely based on the market.

      It comes down to your happiness: do you want to feel fulfilled knowing you’re safeguarding the patients’ quality of life, or do you want more money?
      May 17
  • New vosk4
    If you have to ask this question, then you’re not ready to work at FAANG, or any high growth startup
    May 14 4
    • Salesforce tensorchic
      Not true. Maybe he's playing devil's advocate with himself and I think more people should do that
      May 14
    • Facebook GSWarriors
      He is asking a question, all you need to is stay quiet if you dont have anything to add
      May 15
    • Neurocrine python 4.0
      OP
      Thanks Salesforce and FB. I appreciate you standing up for me.
      May 15
    • Amazon moved2ms
      Someone making a decision to work at a slower pace for a lower TC is not an indication as to whether they’re ready for FAANG. I worked in FAANG for a decade. I seriously considered taking a huge pay cut and working a much slower pace. Instead I took a higher position at MS which has been rewarding. If OP has the will then OP probably will do great.
      May 15
  • Microsoft / Eng Goivenglav
    I came from something of a disadvantaged background. Father died young from alcoholism and drugs and wasn’t in my or my sister’s life after I was 10 and she barely knew him. Mom got remarried to the biggest loser in the world, he’s never worked, and she continues to work 2 jobs with a chronic health condition. Tech began as an opportunity to not be miserable with the rest of my life because I knew I had to work, so I wanted to at least do something I genuinely loved. I never expected to move up the chain and set the bar super low to begin with, mostly because I expected that I wouldn’t make it. Whether I’ve made it yet, is still questionable in my mind, but it’s quite obvious that I’ve grown and adapted several times over and it’s been beneficial almost every step of the way. I’ve been able to help my family (mom and sister) who have both struggled with health problems and being stuck in low earning jobs. In addition I’ve been able to pay off my undergrad loans (after paying for grad school out of pocket while working), pay off my car (which I drive less often because Microsoft has employee transit busses, so I spend less on gas and tolls, which in Seattle adds up to a few hundred a month). I’ve got my 401K maxed out and am learning to invest to hopefully grow my retirement and nest egg. I don’t plan to retire early, I love building software, and getting into bigger companies opens up new technologies and opportunities. It’s not all about retirement, rather it’s just the quality of life and career that I’m always looking to step up in.
    May 15 4
    • Amazon saywha
      Thank you 🙏🏾 for your perspective
      May 15
    • VMware ItsAlrite
      You're the best
      May 15
    • New
      TimAppple

      New

      PRE
      Yahoo
      BIO
      full0 metal0 alchemist0
      TimAppplemore
      You're positive and selfless. Glad that you found a different purpose than just TC.
      May 15
    • New wrqR15
      this!! I have a VERY similar background of humble(poor) beginnings and a a broken, toxic family situation. I feel lucky every day for the opportunities that tech has offered me, a guy with no degree who escaped halfway across the world to get away from family. I got a FAANG offer, I start in a month. I love the challenges, and I just don't segment life between work/non-work and work/retirement. It's all your life all 24/7 hours times 85 years. You decide what you value in life and you decide how hard to work towards it, the only "sin" is wishing you'd done what you really always wanted to do but didn't have the guts to try, be that FAANG success or something else
      May 16
  • Facebook public2
    Depends on your goal. Do you prefer fast pace and then retire fast or slow pace and retire late?
    May 14 8
    • Microsoft MMKy42
      Exactly. Microsoft pays some folks six figures to send out status updates.
      May 15
    • Neurocrine python 4.0
      OP
      That sounds good. What position is that at Microsoft where the hiring bar is low but I can get 6 figure (adjusted for cost of living where I currently stay).
      May 15
    • Microsoft laug
      PMs at MICROSOFT. When they can’t grow or change, they escalate to Satya. 😁
      May 15
    • Microsoft charli@
      Are you jealous 😜
      May 17
    • Microsoft laug
      No! To grow, I work hard and deliver results; I don’t escalate .😁
      May 19
  • Rally Health FuPayMe$$$
    I think you are making certain assumptions that might not necessarily be true. High tc doesn’t always mean bad wlb. There are many companies which pay decently high tc for good wlb. It also depends on how you set boundaries with your boss and teammates. I think it’s worth making more tc with a reasonable wlb.
    May 14 13
    • Cisco Nxt4wb
      Lol. Cisco is a bunch of retired people that still draw a paycheck. Depending on the BU, they can pay pretty high.
      May 15
    • Amazon SDE3Hire
      Laughing because amazon is not high TC or not good WLB?

      Plenty of people that come well after 9 and are out by 6. It’s a huge company with very different expectations in different orgs.
      May 15
    • Microsoft no-sql
      Some teams in msft yes.. don’t think about that if you are planning to come to azure
      May 15
    • Facebook / Eng ETcF03
      Google obviously
      May 15
    • Google cALf77
      When I was there, Cisco had legitimately zero merit budget, so it’d take 5 years just to get a menial promotion and raise. Has that changed?
      May 16
  • Google aaaxc
    Try Google, likely you end up getting both life and TC
    May 15 10
    • Google A Nani Mus
      I work for an Alphabet, and have 600K TC this year. I don't think I work any harder than I did when I was making 50K right out of school.
      May 15
    • Ticketmaster / IT GvB&$78
      ‘The bar for talent isn’t particularly high’ , really? Been trying for the last three years, non stop studying. I guess it’s easy for someone super smart.
      May 15
    • Google dhnff2544
      Like I said, failure does not mean you're not qualified. Great engineers get passed over all the time because the process is not perfect.

      Many people joke internally that they wouldn't pass the interview again, myself included.
      May 15
    • Google quix
      +1. totally agree with dhnff2544
      May 16
    • Neurocrine python 4.0
      OP
      Know a few people like @ticketmaster who are smart, knowledge but couldn't get through. I also know people on the other end who don't know much but somehow cleared the interview, maybe because they were asked relatively easy questions, or had an immediate opening etc. I guess I should just try my luck then m
      May 16
  • Facebook / Eng
    jhjkkkk

    Facebook Eng

    PRE
    Facebook, Amazon
    jhjkkkkmore
    I was thinking along exactly the same lines when I was at slow paced companies in the midwest. I was usually one of the top performers at the company and never had to even give my 100%. I was content and turned down offers for interview w faang.

    Life happened and we lost our mom for illness while we were scrambling for money and my kid was diagnosed w autism which meant one of us had to stay home and give more care for him.

    wake up call. I finally realized that me relaxing put my family in a hole and started CTCI and LC . I luckily moved to NYC for FB job and now at Amazon. Honestly, I work about the same hours, but TC is about 3.5 times what it was 3 years ago. I always thought if u could make twice as much in more expensive areas and have to work harder it’s not worth it. However, if u make 3+ times more, I think it provides a lot of opportunities. Yes, it is a lot more stressful regardless of hours, but I am willing to grind it for my family.

    I am not saying you should change ur way of life. IF you have no money issues meaning, you live well below your means and saving for retirement (or if u have inheritance), by all means, enjoy the low stress job that pays the bill. If you are tight on money and unsure about your financial future or worried that if ur company wont be around in 15 yrs, do whatever it takes and get a job at big tech. U will make more, wife will be happier, kids will get to experience more things.
    May 15 7
    • Intel Hunting
      What is CTCI?
      May 15
    • US Air Force afQd45
      cracking the code interview
      May 16
    • How was your experience at FB vs Amazon?
      May 16
    • Thanks for your perspective. I am in need of a wake up call myself.
      Jun 2
    • Facebook
      brokeat40

      Facebook

      PRE
      Facebook, Amazon
      brokeat40more
      I can speak about FB vs Amazon. it’s very different. Amazon these days can actually be more chill. The promo will be harder at amazon, but it also means less pressure to perform at a high level for ppl experience vs FB where majority is senior engineers. Culture-wise, it’s pretty much what their products are like. FB actually moves fast and values making connections within the company. Amazon is more subtle and values efficiency. Pay-wise, FB will pay more unless u are principal or higher at amazon. Amazon obviously doesn’t have perks which can suck if u are used to them.

      Overall, both are great companies that are tough, but rewarding. Both big companies now, so u will have to deal w some politics. If I had to pick, I’d start at amazon, become really solid sde 3, then try for e6 at fb simply because if u start at fb, get to e5, then going to amazon is very tough as u will have to paycut.
      Jun 3
  • Google / Product ☁️cloud
    Google has been quite intense in my experience. But I still work 8-5, sometimes 8-6. And religiously don't do anything over the weekends, so that I can spend time with my family. I feel that my attempt to keep WLB has negative impact on my performance ratings, but I could give less crap as it's not my priority in life. 😉
    May 15 0
  • New kdjC14
    I put work-life balance at a very high premium. However, work-life balance is more than your time off from work. For me, anyway, it's about this question: do you enjoy what you're doing during the most hours of the day? If you have a job that you are not excited about, and where you are not engaged, yet have plenty of time off, you likely will not be as happy as if you have a job that energizes you. For me, anyway, it's about maximizing the number of hours per day where you are doing what you enjoy, doing what gives you meaning and purpose. During work hours, that's having a highly creative job with a lot of autonomy. In my off hours, it's enjoying friends and pursuing my hobbies and fitness.

    In the several years, I've worked at Uber, a large insurance company, and Amazon. The job at the large insurance company had a maximum 37.5 hour work week, with three weeks of vacation, and TC in the six figures and a lot of flex time during the day. Yet, that job offered no creativity, and was very much a "mother-may-I culture." The work for me was boring, and although I enjoyed the extensive time off, I dreaded the projects I was working on. I could literally feel my skills atrophy. Contrast that with Amazon, where I am energized and enthused about what I do everyday, yet I am not on and insane work schedule, I find that I am a much happier person outside of work. If you're miserable or bored out of your skull during your work hours, I don't care how much time you have off, you do not have work-life balance or satisfying life. Even if you prioritize your family life over work, which you should, if you're miserable at work or just plain bored silly, you won't be as present and energized in your home life.At least that's just my perspective.

    Oh, and by the way, I'm in my mid-50s, so I haven't found ageism to be an issue-- at least not yet People always ask me how I'm able to land jobs in tech companies at my age. The secret is that all of my life I've kept my skills sharp, continued and continue to learn new techniques and skills and programming languages, and have a young at heart attitude. I'm curious about new things, still curious about life, and accepting of change. At the insurance company, I worked with millennials who acted older than people my age. It's all about mindset and keeping your skills sharp.

    And just have fun. Life is short.
    May 15 9
    • New kdjC14
      Sorry about the links in the post. I have no idea how those got there. LOL! It's late here.
      May 15
    • Thanks a lot for the advice! Appreciate it 😊
      May 15
    • Shapeways CoddyCodd
      I need a mentor for my career development. Please be mine.
      May 16
    • Facebook / Eng
      jhjkkkk

      Facebook Eng

      PRE
      Facebook, Amazon
      jhjkkkkmore
      Just joined amazon from fb and had similar fears. It’s all about the manager and the culture of the team. I have the best WLB to date at Amazon
      May 16
    • Amazon KTUv41
      This resonates with me completely. I used to work for a large bank which was very similar to how you described your experience at the large insurance company. I’m so glad I left for Amazon.
      May 18
  • Lyft McGee
    I’m retiring before 40 after two IPOs, so yeah it’s worth it.
    May 15 8
    • Lyft McGee
      Moving out of Bay Area, $5M with a good portion of it tied up in rental properties.
      May 16
    • Salesforce Zed12
      Same, but I'll be retiring on much less. A little over $1M. But I'm living in a LCOL area. If you cut down on expenses a lot, you don't have to save up as much. I hope to buy a house for a little over $200k.
      May 16
    • Amazon damned
      You're retiring on 1 million, so I suppose you're single?
      May 16
    • Salesforce Zed12
      @damned I've got one kid and about to have two. I've dropped my living expenses down to $30-40k/yr following Mr. Money Mustache's principles. With a paid off house, it's not too hard if I don't go out to eat much. In my free time I'll probably do a startup or volunteer full time.
      May 17
    • Amazon damned
      I think a family of 4 retiring on 1 mil is too optimistic (assuming that million includes total net worth like real estate), but I don't know your situation well enough to say for sure
      May 17
  • Uber GavinB
    Yes. It's the same just that you get paid more. Why not do it.
    May 14 5
    • OP
      Does Uber have a good wlb and high TC?
      May 14
    • Uber GavinB
      Depends on the team. Some have decent wlb
      May 15
    • Uber / Eng aodnfisj
      Pay is meh
      May 15
    • Most people at uber are just doing it till they can find the next thing
      May 15
    • Uber vKUp33
      Coming from someone that has been at IMB for 15 years in a slow boring environment.
      May 15
  • Salesforce / Eng
    HQLY00

    Salesforce Eng

    PRE
    Modernizing Medicine, TransUnion
    HQLY00more
    I got paid today. Feels good honestly. Then wares off. Then next pay day. Feels good again
    May 15 4
    • New / Eng blindor
      Who said salesforce is “fast paced, high TC” lol
      May 15
    • Salesforce / Eng
      HQLY00

      Salesforce Eng

      PRE
      Modernizing Medicine, TransUnion
      HQLY00more
      Love salesforce my dude im chilling hard
      May 15
    • New / Eng blindor
      Meh, Engineering sucks there
      May 15
    • Salesforce / Eng
      HQLY00

      Salesforce Eng

      PRE
      Modernizing Medicine, TransUnion
      HQLY00more
      Agreed. Lol.
      May 15
  • Oracle seg fault
    Mark Cuban did not become wealthy by taking the back seat in life if that helps.
    May 15 4
    • Uber notDara
      what about the thousands of people that want to be like Cuban but fail? the front seat doesn’t always pay off
      May 15
    • Oracle seg fault
      He failed a lot before succeeding, and he worked relentlessly. Not trying is an automatic no which has 100% failure rate. But yeah, could happen which would suck.
      May 15
    • New / Eng Bsky
      Who is Mark Cuban? How many leets did he solve?
      May 15
    • Amazon nEYy06
      You’re not gonna become Mark Cuban working at a fully formed tech company.
      May 16
  • Amazon tzchar0
    I make 500k+. It’s nice and I never have to worry about day to day spending. I am not very materialistic but wife and I take nice vacations. We can also afford a house in Bay Area which is great.
    I’ve also gotten a lot more irritable and stressed from the work. I grind my teeth at night. My wife says I’ve become a lot more short tempered (and I notice the same thing).
    For me it’s worth the money, but if I weren’t in the Bay Area I might feel differently.
    May 14 4
    • Uber GavinB
      My wife said the same about me too ever since I started to chase that TC
      May 15
    • Amazon ChivalryAF
      Are you an SDE?
      May 15
    • eBay dtbnvz
      Saywha, can you elaborate?
      May 15
    • Pure Storage meemeep
      Yoe?
      May 15
  • Amazon / Eng QVHz54
    I am making 7x what I was when I first entered the industry 13 years ago, 3x what I was pre-Amazon 6 years ago. My net worth is 20x what it was 6 years ago, we'd have never been able to save for our future this way if it weren't for my TC. That growth has allowed my husband to take more risks with his career and he's significantly happier for it.

    My work life balance is so much better than it ever was. Sure, it's faster paced in that I'm building more and doing more... But I also have the autonomy to prioritize what I do and how I do it. I used to jump companies every 2 years, constantly feeling like I was working really hard without much to show for it. Now I actually have more time with my family and feel like I'm actually accomplishing stuff during the time I do spend working.
    May 15 5
    • Jet.com 123jet
      Suprising to hear that you can have wlb at Amazon. People always talk about the toxic work culture there. Could you shed some light on how the culture is at Amazon?
      May 15
    • Is that multiplier mostly due to RSU appreciation?
      May 15
    • Google wqIe83
      It's possible to have good wlb at Amazon. You need to adopt to the Amazon work style/leadership principles, then you know what is expected and can deliver that with good wlb. It's really tough in the first two years while you are adopting, and then it's all good.
      May 15
    • Amazon / Eng f!sstech
      Good and bad teams exist everywhere, the difference is what % of total they are. One company may have 1% good, another 30% good.
      May 16
    • Amazon / Eng QVHz54
      bleatcode, yes, so obviously I don't anticipate this trend continuing forever but its changed my family's future in ways I don't think would've been achievable for us otherwise. There have also been promotion related increases but those alone wouldn't have made such an impact.

      123jet, like others have said, it depends on the team and I've been very fortunate. I've set some very firm boundaries and they've been respected in ways none of the other companies I've worked for in the past ever did. I think with my first team it was luck - I happened to end up with a great manager and he advocated for his team. During my time on the team I built really good relationships with my peers and leadership, so when it came time for me to move on I basically had my pick of managers and projects. I've switched teams twice during my time at Amazon and there have been really interesting teams that I've avoided simply because they aren't compatible with my lifestyle needs. When I was jumping from company to company I never could've been in so much control. There's nothing special about me other than luck having been on my side. Other than that I really think just sticking around, earning trust and getting to know people has made things so much easier for me.
      May 16
  • The correlation between TC and fast paced / high career growth isn’t always true fyi.
    May 14 8
    • Nvidia
      420_Blaze

      Nvidia

      BIO
      BlazeMaster 10K
      420_Blazemore
      A lot of C-Tier tech companies work the fuck out of you and pay shit. Jumping to Nvidia for me resulted in way higher pay/less stress. Don't get me wrong, it's fast paced, but Nvidia is not shitty about it.
      May 15
    • Neurocrine python 4.0
      OP
      What team, Google?
      May 15
    • New / Ops
      tooQ10

      New Ops

      PRE
      Rakuten USA
      tooQ10more
      @420_Blaze - I work for one of those: Rakuten. It has destroyed my self worth to the point where I don't think I can ever look for another job.
      May 15
    • Nvidia
      420_Blaze

      Nvidia

      BIO
      BlazeMaster 10K
      420_Blazemore
      No worries man! Didn't think I could either, I was so beaten down and discouraged. I said fuck it, applied to Nvidia with no references and somehow got an on-site interview. During my interview, I was just myself, didn't even think of my shitty current employer. It was great. One week later I got the job! It's been incredible ever since 😎
      May 15
    • New / Ops
      tooQ10

      New Ops

      PRE
      Rakuten USA
      tooQ10more
      @420 - Nice! I was actually looking forward to working at Rakuten when they acquired the start-up that I joined right out of college. I had no idea they would be as awful as they have been. I would have started looking right then, when I was still under 30 and more marketable. I got my master's and doctorate in my off hours while working here, but those don't make up for advancing age and declining pay. I might drop the rat race and go for academia instead.
      May 16
  • Splunk darkdang
    From your post I can assure you the rat race is not for you.
    May 15 0
  • Microsoft
    🤴king🤴

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Cubic
    🤴king🤴more
    Bro, come to MSFT and make 2-5x more and still see your family.
    May 15 3
    • Neurocrine python 4.0
      OP
      What team? And how do I get through the interview? Also, why would Microsoft even call me when I have a non tech background?
      May 15
    • Microsoft RuJN01
      ^^ OP seems you are working hard on why someone shouldn’t hire you. Just to basic search - So many people at Microsoft do non technical work.
      May 15
    • Facebook deus
      I hope Microsoft has more Bay Area openings in a few years when I want to relax more.
      May 17
  • New / Product
    VeniceLA88

    New Product

    BIO
    Mostly startups. Interested in exploring new opportunities in Los Angeles.
    VeniceLA88more
    I do jack shit most days and have average TC (200+). Not high, but I’m happy with it. Will probably move to something else in my 30s out of boredom
    May 15 2
    • Where do u work with that high tc? And how many yoe and what job title?
      May 16
    • JOANY / Mgmt e^(iπ)+1=0
      200+ in product in Venice in your 20s is nowhere near average.
      May 17
  • Google / Sales meatballer
    Mo money, mo problems, as the ancient adage goes. But it's really true. It's also addictive. Once you start making the big bucks it's hard to go backwards, so don't do it if you're happy.
    May 15 0