Career

Imposter syndrome

New fydxnt
May 10

After joining FANG at a huge salary bump (from a non FANG company), how many of you felt the imposter syndrome? I am constantly wondering why they are paying me so much compared to my earlier job, while the work is similar. Am I really worth 2-3x more than what I was 3 months ago?

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  • TripAdvisor Jingyang
    Absolutely yes! Because you proved you can LeetCode!
    May 106
    • Amazon rust
      ROFL. This made my day.
      May 11
    • Gusto Gusto
      It’s funny because it’s true...
      May 11
    • Amazon rust
      Nah!
      May 12
    • SoFi tBlX28
      So true :-D
      May 12
    • Amazon zRqI41
      I have some special interview questions I personally called Leetcode breaker :D
      May 13
    • Splunk KE94107
      The FANG companies and others that copy their interview techniques created an artificial shortage of engineers. By raising the bar on hiring with ridiculous, mostly-irrelevant LEETcoding and other high-pressure interviewing, they’ve weeded out 80% of the potential applicants who would’ve been hired if that type of interviewing were replaced by job-specific screening.

      So it’s no wonder that with supply restricted, a given level of demand pushed the price (total-comp) way up.

      These companies brought higher costs on themselves. We engineers, instead of feeling “imposter syndrome”, are laughing all the way to the bank.
      May 13
  • New / OtherKjfg25
    You're doing the same job, but the work you produce now has a bigger impact and earns the company more money. You're just getting a cut of the that money
    May 115
    • Amazon AjlB80
      It's quite possible that by percentages, OP is earning less of his output than at the smaller company.. It's just that FANG has stupidly high revenue
      May 11
    • Marvell 55blue
      This.
      May 12
    • Marvell 55blue
      And this:
      May 12
    • LinkedIn / EngCarpetCog
      @Marvell, now that's an interesting view. I'm curious what a similar profit-per-employee chart would look like. (Or maybe profit ignoring compensation expenses...)
      May 12
    • Google fkckjuiwkc
      That chart should really be normalized by average employee salary... Amazon had a lot of low-paid warehouse and support workers that drag the number down.
      May 13
  • Google Dulunga
    Look, none of us “deserves” these salaries, ok? It’s just the economics of our industry that allow this. Because the companies we work for own cash cows, and the output of our work scales to so many users. And we get a cut if we do a good job, and some even if they do a mediocre job.
    This is never true for, say, a barber. A barber can only produce output for 1 person at a time. Sure, there are a handful of stars in every industry that can make more.

    So don’t feel bad, you worked your way up. But also don’t look down on others who were born with the wrong talents.
    May 114
    • Cruise Automation / Eng✉️
      It's not really born so much as interest and exposure.
      If they actively considered CS and decided they didn't want to do it then yeah I don't feel sorry for them. But if they never knew about it, I think they should give it a try.
      May 13
    • Amazon / Engn0v
      The pay is not so much a function of profit generated and scarcity of well qualified software engineers. You need the profits for employers to be able to offer a high salary, but you need scarcity of supply for employers to be willing to pay such rates.
      May 13
    • LinkedIn Zeiwkf5
      Well said, Dulunga. I fully agree.
      May 13
    • Autodesk AWFK75
      Very articulate and correct.
      May 13
  • Amazon / OtherKeveyh
    Ok if the question is about pay, there is a very easy answer which is, how much you get paid has almost nothing to do with your skills.

    Suppose you have company A (a faang) and company B (a small stable tech co).

    Company B makes $3M in revenue with a healthy margin and pays their tech people 70k/year on average. They have about 20 tech people and hire an average of 3-4 people a year due to attrition and slow+steady expansion. Sure, most people who are really good will go make a lot more than that somewhere else, but there are enough high quality people who value the small office vibe, the really convenient commute, etc that they can fill 3-4 roles with adequate people every year no problem. And if those people do a good job, the CEO gets to buy a second boat and a new Mercedes in a couple of years. Life is good.

    Company A has hundreds of business units pursuing thousands of technical projects. Every year 5% of the company quits to work for a competitor, and to keep the stock price growing they expand and hire thousands of new people in addition to backfilling the people leaving. Every month that a headcount slot stays open they’re losing hundreds of thousands in potential revenue and are a little closer to not meeting their projected quarterly results because their projects are late. At the same time, they know they cannot afford to just hire anyone off the street. When they find someone who meets their hiring bar, they pay that person $210k a year because a) they can easily afford it while staying profitable and b) that’s what it takes to get a high enough % of accepted offers. Now, because this company’s products are wildly successful in the market, the CEO has more money than he can count and you get paid 3x what you were paid in company B. Life is better.

    So to answer your question: are you personally three times better than the person working at the smaller company? No. But the work you’re doing, in aggregate with everyone else and as a whole, is worth more than enough for the company to pay you this much.

    In closing, you don’t need to be 3x better than someone else from a skills perspective to make 3x what they make. You just need to do work that can generate more revenue. And that’s what you’re doing.
    May 121
    • Cisco FITUMI
      Great response!
      May 12
  • Amazon Gjejdnfifk
    I have the exact feeling after google HC result today 😰
    May 106
    • Amazon nflx soon
      Google doesn’t pay that much though 🤔
      May 10
    • Amazon Gjejdnfifk
      Netflix pays better indeed but my feeling was actually on google’s expected leetcode competence
      May 10
    • Amazon nflx soon
      True, I felt the same way. I was comparing the google comp with amazon, their initial offer was lower than current amazon.
      May 10
    • What is HC?
      May 11
    • Applied Material streethawk
      HC = Hiring Committee
      May 11
    • Microsoft / EngBx3sigedtn
      Comparing my offers from Amazon and Google, google offer was 100k higher than Amazon.
      May 14
  • Google IAeI22
    Google was my first job out of school, I’ve had imposter syndrome forever and didn’t know it had a name until people talked about it at work. I think it’s a good thing though, motivated me. More people have it there more than any other place I’ve been I think.

    Was floored by the salary, it was more than my parents made and way more than I needed. I felt weird with so many friends mired in debt with shitty jobs, making $20-30k and working longer hours. I bought a new laptop and was excited when it arrived, then I overheard my friends saying it was “so shitty” I could afford nice things like that 🙁
    May 114
    • Tesla LEETCODER
      You earned it buddy. Every time I buy something in life there is atleast one person in my family or friends who would say "wish I could also afford". 😑.

      I realized I could never be happy if I worry about what others would think.
      May 11
    • Amazon / Otherjeff@
      lol, I'm in the opposite position. Many of my friends are in other industries making more than me (medical or financial mostly) or working in prestigious roles in gov't or non profit sector, but still making damn good money. So I'm like, well I'm making more than 90% but all my good damn friends are in the 95% somehow, so it's still a keeping up with the Joneses exercise.

      Everyone's got problems, and even if we don't, we're all human, so we'll make up some fucked up ones to worry about that only we care about.
      May 11
    • Cruise Automation / Eng✉️
      @leetcoder if there's anyone you're particularly close to, you could consider gifting them one of their most-wanted items as a holiday or birthday gift!
      May 13
    • Amazon ugfth
      Dude jealousy is a shitty feeling. Those that are jealous and speak/act on it are shitty people. Don't worry about therm.
      May 13
  • Amazon / OtherShsyehbfb
    I thought I was gonna feel imposter syndrome but then I started and quickly realized my peers were just regular people like me - some smarter, some less, some same, but all just humans. I came from the type of company/role where I’m used to working directly with seasoned executives and I actually feel that my leadership now is less seasoned or perhaps just more narrowly skilled than the people I worked with before. So, honestly, no I never got imposter syndrome.
    May 100
  • NuGEN Technologies vpdl51
    You are. Stop being negative about your success. You earned it.
    May 100
  • eBay sudo
    Like someone mentioned in other thread, it is not a syndrome if you were one ...
    May 107
    • New iucnd
      Funny. But yeah how is anyone worth the pay being offered these days? To answer my own question, they are not. It's a bubble. Just lap it up and chill.
      May 11
    • Facebook XwEa85
      So so true.
      May 12
    • Facebook eR6c2zVM
      If you think this is a bubble, you underestimate the power of automation. It's similar to thinking the coal jobs are coming back. They aren't.
      May 12
    • New iucnd
      We have been automating industrial processes for decades. The auto industry is a good example where robotic labour has been employed heavily since at least the 80s. I can't see anything particularly new or different since 2015 when the tech stocks started to really heat up.
      May 13
    • Facebook eR6c2zVM
      Software automation trumps hardware automation. You've got software that can serve billions of people at a time. Auto factory robots replace a handful of jobs in comparison. FANG replaces hundreds of thousands if not millions.
      May 13
    • New iucnd
      F: advertising
      A: online shopping/cloud compute
      N: video streaming
      G: advertising

      What exactly are you referring to by software automation in the above industries? Are these industries replacing jobs? Amazon is probably the heaviest on software automation given the efficiencies of AWS but even then not so much.

      What you are probably referring to is scale. Their products can reach more customers at a sub-linear increase in cost. But they could fire nearly everyone now and still do that.. Most employees are working on growth related stuff that will most likely get thrown out. That growth is fueled primarily by the stock market gains generating them capital to pour back into the business.
      May 14
    • Cloudera ditspoaa
      Learn to look at historical trends in centuries instead of decades.

      200 years ago 80% of people were doing farming. Today <40%. Did it lead to 40% unemployment rate?

      100 years ago industrial workers were working 16 hrs shifts. Today 8hrs. Did it bring down unemployment to 0?

      Labor force is pretty resilient as per economists. It adapts, retrains, wrestles away new laws, new forms of governance etc. to maintain a healthy state. It will stay that way :) So, chill and be adaptable!!
      May 14
  • Salesforce stana
    Don't worry. After few months on Blind, that syndrome will be gone.
    May 121
  • WalmartLabs / Eng
    ahahaha

    WalmartLabsEng

    BIO
    A coder dreams of working in FB Google everyday
    ahahahamore
    You were underestimated too much:P
    May 100
  • Amazon / EngDude58
    Before I got into a FANG company what I saw was that Engineers were highly undervalued and certain managers and salespeople were way overvalued.

    Somehow the salespeople and the useless managers were seen as producers and the engineers were seen as an expense to be minimized. While sales people got huge rewards in commissions and managers got huge bonuses, engineers were paid the minimum the market would bear and hired and fired as needed.

    I feel that the secret of the FANG companies and their predecessors, the early HP, Intel, Fairchild before them, is that they recognized that their success in the marketplace was closely tied to the quality of their engineering talent. They decided to invest and attract the best engineering talent with bonuses and high salaries instead of seeing engineering talent as a commodity to be cost-minimized.

    It always astounded me when I worked at other companies, in Portland or in the Midwest, their obsession with minimizing the cost of engineering instead of working on the quality. It would have cost very little extra, maybe a 15% premium or bonus, to have won over the best talent in the area to their company, but instead they all seemed very concerned about not starting a bidding war for engineering talent. They were, and are, taking extreme measures to keep the compensation artificially low. They are price-fixing. One mechanism for this is the so-called job fair.

    Remember that about 50 or 60 years ago engineers out-earned both doctors and lawyers routinely across the country. Whatever happened to that? Today that only happens at the FANG companies.

    Don't feel guilty about your high total compensation. Instead wonder why the hell it is unique to FANG companies.
    May 125
    • Microsoft rlyn50
      Oh FFS, don’t compare FANG companies to HP, Intel and Fairchild of old. That was a time where companies and employees had a mutual commitment to helping each other grow - lifetime employment. Plus, many of those companies had disciplines crossing many areas of technology.

      None of the FANG companies have the depth of technical culture that those early ones did.

      Apple could, but it’s a closed system and engineering is silo’d into their little niches.

      Google and FB? Advertising and personal information sellers.
      May 12
    • NAVEX Global HollaBackG
      There are still tech companies that think Sales drives all of their revenue and the rest of the departments are just drains on the company’s wallet.
      May 13
    • Oracle Ififydugi
      Very interesting; didn’t realize engineers made more 50 years ago. Can you link any studies on this?
      May 13
    • First Orion / EngSlxicbdbsj
      Spent a couple years at one of the companies described by @Dude. Very stingy with Engineer and IT pay & expenses. If they spent even just a little more the company could thrive. Now all the good talent is leaving because top mgmt won’t do it
      May 13
    • Uber hey they
      There was a price fixing lawsuit a while ago with Google Apple Nvidia and a bunch of others involved
      May 16
  • Amazon OTdS88
    Who cares, soak it up. Learn as much as you can and save/invest while times are good. The next bubble might be right around the corner.
    May 110
  • Amazon spookykid
    What is FANG
    May 127
    • Microsoft / Ops
      Uh wat

      MicrosoftOps

      BIO
      Sup, brah?
      Uh watmore
      Facebook Amazon Netflix Google
      May 12
    • Uber / EngThe Senate
      You must be new here :)
      May 12
    • Google / Engwhoami420
      We use FAANG around here, the second A is Apple.
      May 12
    • Uber / EngThe Senate
      No we don't.
      May 12
    • Cruise Automation / Eng✉️
      Same thing
      May 13
    • Genentech Bear-ish
      Uber's opinion doesn't count. He should quit his company if he wants to be heard
      May 13
    • Uber / EngThe Senate
      Says Genentech 🙄
      May 13
  • Amazon / Otherjeff@
    I don't even think about if I'm worth it or not, my mindset is I got lucky as fuck getting in the door and I'm damn well going to make the most of it. I'm greedy af, cause I'm making double after joining, and all I can think about is my path to triple.
    May 110
  • Google CallMeRudy
    I believe I worth 2-3x more than what I'm currently getting paid. But no company is willing to pay me that money 😞
    May 130
  • Think about the Hollywood celebrities. Do you think they deserve what they are earning? No. They are just in a position in an industry that’s set up that way and people are willing to pay for it
    May 131
    • Microsoft mauster
      Yes it's a demand supply game not skill evaluation game.
      May 13
  • Intel assertNull
    You poor richies, come here! A unique benefit: our HR makes sure you don’t get paid to feel that way! 🙄
    May 130
  • Amazon cUYC00
    I had to stop and laugh when my manager referred to someone on my team, “he’s got a PhD from Oxford, he can figure this out.” I’m from a small town in the middle of nowhere. It’s nuts that I’m here now.
    May 121
    • NAVEX Global HollaBackG
      Me too. I’m basically a hick who had a lot of ambitious drive for some reason.
      May 13
  • Amazon rust
    I think big tech is hoarding and hedging their risk. It's cheaper to hire 10000 devs than to buy 10 competing startups that might happen if these 10000 were not hired and left to "pursue their dreams".
    May 111
    • Cruise Automation / Eng✉️
      This only really sounds like Google and maybe fb/Amazon tbh
      May 13
  • Microsoft mook2e
    You are "worth" what the market will pay. You may not think it's justified because you are good at it, or it comes easy, or you have doubts about your ability, but it's still a relatively scarce skill at the end on the day
    May 120
  • Zillow Group sofaking
    Give it a few months. By the end of summer you’ll be like every other entitled prick in here complaining about how you’re underpaid at 500 TC
    May 131
    • Amazon nflx soon
      tbh 500k is not that much money, we can do better 😉
      May 13
  • Microsoft / Ops
    Uh wat

    MicrosoftOps

    BIO
    Sup, brah?
    Uh watmore
    Not technically FANG, but yep, 100%. I jumped nearly x3 and felt this for about 6 months. I finally feel like I’m proving value after about a year.
    May 120
  • Amazon zstop
    I don't feel I get paid much whoever is feeling that I'll suggest donate for worthy cause it's win win :)
    May 120
  • Microsoft Describe
    No of course you're not worth 2x-3x more, how much you make doesn't determine your worth as a person! Gandi, MLK, and Jesus all made less than you does that mean they are less worthy humans? Certainly not!
    May 122
    • Yelp BDkP87
      It's Gandhi not Ghandi. Americans always spell it wrong even though they keep quoting him
      May 13
    • Microsoft Describe
      Sorry 😅
      May 14
  • Uber / EngLkjhgdsaa
    FANG’s position is good. For example, you can go to some foreign countries, do the same work, work harder, and earn much less.
    May 130
  • Uber dBag
    You should view it that you were underpaid before. I bet your previous company was making good money. You just weren’t getting a fair slice.
    May 130
  • Tableau TabbyMason
    Everyone does imposter syndrome better than me.
    May 120
  • Microsoft Khcfdshl
    You are an imposter. Deal with it. I'm the real McCoy.
    May 120
  • Cruise Automation / Eng✉️
    My pay is now 81% higher than it was a year ago - same position, not much experience difference, same city, same me.

    I'm starting to feel the tinges of it. It feels like everyone else at the company knows what they're doing more so than I do.... 😐
    May 132
    • VMware Vcludair
      81% hike, that's just insane. Just curious, what is your Total comp like?
      May 14
    • Cruise Automation / Eng✉️
      ~$175k TC/year guaranteed, ~$200k TC/year expected (didn't include small signing bonus too)
      The offer is a little different than usual but that's my best estimate

      Most of it is base
      May 14
  • Adobe CdFv66
    What salary range r we talking ab here
    May 121
    • Splunk KE94107
      Typically 250K to 600K total comp: salary, bonus, stock. Often a 25K to 100K signon bonus. That’s for individual-contributor engineers with 2 to 15 years experience.

      It’s been that way in Bay Area a long time, and is now spreading to other cities.
      May 13
  • Uber hey they
    It's also the opportunity cost - not having this extra engineer means they will be losing millions per staff member
    May 160
  • Uber hey they
    Better technical direction and more net profit per capita makes ics more valuable to highly profitable companies. Finance is still the best though (financially for top contributors/true hyper productive geniuses) because there's no middle man and no extraneous useless staff. Just your ideas, capital and the book of quotes
    May 160
  • Uber / Eng
    sight

    UberEng

    PRE
    Facebook, Cisco
    sightmore
    Welcome to the big leagues.

    It will wear off soon and in time you’ll find yourself as a leader. You’ll realize that this is all in your head and it’s really about putting your head down and delivering great work.
    May 140
  • Amazon / ProductGucci Gang
    @OP this feeling will wear off shortly as sofaking pointed out. You’ll soon realize they’re not paying you enough.
    May 140
  • Hootsuite Upgrayedd
    Watch the movie Aladdin. Are you a street rat or a diamond in the rough?
    May 140
  • New Ktzhp
    What if it is 1.5M TC?
    May 130
  • NetApp junkie
    Imposter syndrome is a big deal

    I felt that to some degree moving from a poorly paid college environment to a well paid high tech environment. I kept asking myself “why is this so easy?”. It took me about two years to tell it wasn’t me but the environment and I needed to adjust my expectations and standards.

    The real challenge is with how effective your management is with relaying perceptions and mistakes in a timely manner.

    I worked for one newbie manager who couldn’t give negative feedback. In hindsight, I failed to manage my manager.

    As an engineer, you are responsible for upward, downward and side ways communication. It sucks for the introverts but that is life.
    May 130
  • LinkedIn nobody7
    Donate to charities and you will feel better
    May 130
  • Workday / Eng
    SHA-512

    WorkdayEng

    BIO
    I do big data stuff.
    SHA-512more
    Join wd - you will feel better
    May 130
  • Amazon wildfire
    2-3x is nothing I now making 11x what I earned before that can really give you imposter syndrome
    May 130
  • Intel toothloss
    When you burn out in 5-10 years and can't work anymore you'll feel like you weren't paid enough.
    May 130
  • Oracle dgff
    You can always quit. And work at Walmart welcoming customers with a cart.
    May 120
  • VMware / Eng
    LlGE00

    VMwareEng

    PRE
    Veritas Software
    BIO
    Nope!!
    LlGE00more
    100% 99.9999999999
    May 120

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