Love vs Promotion dilemma

Amazon / Eng vJpQ74
Mar 14, 2018 62 Comments

I've been struggling with this conflict for months now. I'm in Amazon Seattle and currently on a long distance relationship with my boyfriend who lives in the Bay Area. We're serious and sure we're going to stay together and get married in a couple of years.

I'm up for a promotion soon from SDE 1 to SDE 2. Manager says in 1 or 2 quarters. I'm really hungry for this promotion too.

However I'd promised that I'd move early this year. And now I'm having second thoughts because moving will mean I might have to wait 1-1.5 years before getting promoted in a new team and I'll be frustrated waiting that long.

On the other hand if I choose to stay, it'll probably be around a year until I internally transfer and move.

What would you do? Would you sacrifice a promotion to make your partner happy?

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TOP 62 Comments
  • New / Eng
    HrlyDvdsn

    New Eng

    BIO
    WalmartLabs
    HrlyDvdsnmore
    Talk to him.
    Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about the job. This single thing that you do for him will take you very long in your relationship. Bragging rights are underrated.
    Mar 14, 2018 2
    • Amazon / Eng vJpQ74
      OP
      Thank you. I'm inclined towards moving too. I've always been ambitious and it's letting go of that streak that's turning out to be hard. Since I'm torn about this, I don't want to regret the decision or resent it later on.
      Mar 14, 2018
    • New / Eng
      HrlyDvdsn

      New Eng

      BIO
      WalmartLabs
      HrlyDvdsnmore
      You're being ambitious towards your relationship. Your streak is actually continuing.
      Mar 14, 2018
  • Microsoft UMbR31
    I think 'holding on to the boyfriend' is more in your control than 'getting promoted at someone's company/team' - your manager could join Google next month, your VP might decide this work you do is not a priority, maybe they don't fund your promotion, maybe you dislike your work because of some new principal... If you think he's likely to be the one, just go live in that city you both choose, life is short, true love is hard to find, you'll cherish this forever, decades down the line it won't matter if you were L4 or L5 or L6 in 2019, but the fact that you held on to the right man will make all the difference in your life.

    Think about the happy moments you remember from the last 5 years of your life. Would life be any different if you had ended college with 3.6 instead of a 3.8 ?

    Do it for your own happiness, not just to make the partner happy.
    Mar 14, 2018 2
  • Oracle newoakim
    Get your promotion and then transfer. Considering that you're only talking a year here..I would honestly wonder why your partner would be happy with you making a decision to set your career back. I know some might say it's not that serious since you just seem to be starting out, but if you're up for the promotion soon why erase all of your work? I'd say get the promotion and then transfer/switch companies and relocate.
    Mar 14, 2018 7
    • Amazon / Eng vJpQ74
      OP
      Yeah he's ready to move as well. But he cannot switch companies until October because of Visa complications. We just figured it would be easier for me to move as Amazon has offices in both places.
      Mar 14, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng imstuck
      Can you get an SDE2 role at another company in the Bay Area? I really think you can. You can even negotiate saying you are close but chose to move for personal reason. Careers work out in the long run. If you are PE material you will be a PE. Do what’s needed for love right now.
      Mar 15, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng imstuck
      FYI I switched my team in order to make my marriage work and lost on a big promo at work. I was able to catch up in a few months and move up faster than I would have had I stayed on the previous team. You never know what opportunities you’ll get. Also it was the best decision I ever made. I was grumpy for a bit but I have never thought about it since. The impact of being with someone you love is pretty big.
      Mar 15, 2018
    • Facebook qualitypls
      Most of us are obessessed with the next promo early on in our careers. It's so immediate, but taking a step back, most of us have more than 20 years left in our careers if we want to keep working.

      Switching company can be an easy way to earn as much as a promotion these days. Even going to the bay new companies will have relocation benfits.

      Long distance relationships are brutal. I'm cynical about marriages, but can recognize the difficulty of finding someone you want to marry.
      Mar 15, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Dude58
      Start working now on transfer to Lab126 in Sunnyvale / Cupertino. Continue to work on your promo but don't obsess over it. It may or may not come to pass on the schedule you expect. If it comes to pass before you get your transfer to Lab126 great, if not no big deal. Take the transfer and be happy. The transfer may result in increased opportunities anyway. Also look at Amazon in San Francisco and A9 in Palo Alto. You might also want to consider all of the Bay Area companies including Apple and Facebook and Google etcetera. You may get such a jump up that you're awaited promo looks trivial. I wouldn't stress too much over unvested RSUs at this point either, but they are consideration when you're looking between a Transfer and moving to a new company.
      Mar 18, 2018
  • Intel / Product
    SVsquash

    Intel Product

    PRE
    Amazon
    SVsquashmore
    Get the promotion. Neither you nor your BF know what the future holds in terms of jobs, promotions, location, etc. You don’t want the dynamic in the relationship that you are going to compromise your career for him - that is not a healthy foundation. Be careful.

    BTW - why is he not moving to Seattle?

    Successful long term relationships can survive the stress of distance and busy careers. SF-Seattle is not that bad a separation. I did for 4 years.

    Also think about what would happen if the relationship ended - you passed on the promotion - and you are in SF and now single/alone. How would you feel in this situation?

    While I certainly wish you both success, the reality is that 50% of marriages in the US do not last long. In terms of non-marital relationships, probably 80%+ of one’s that supposedly will last forever do not.
    Why will yours be different?

    Overall - is this really a now decision or can you wait? Can you obtain your promotion, give the relationship some more time, and have more information from which to make a significant life decision?

    With all sincerity - best wishes with your personal/professional life.
    Mar 14, 2018 2
    • Amazon / Eng lifeIsFun
      Exactly my thoughts! 🙂👍🏻
      Mar 14, 2018
    • Aon Hewitt Qqwjxdt
      Exactly go for the promotion. I think it's strange that he doesn't think it's a big deal for you to lose out on this promotion. He definitely would not miss his chance for one.
      Mar 14, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng windss
    promote then transfer...to a different company maybe. amazon sde 2 is hot anyway, despite how news is picturing you guys.
    Mar 14, 2018 0
  • Amazon iAlexa
    Dump him!
    Mar 14, 2018 2
    • Whole Foods Iodined
      That sounds harsh, but really? Basically agree. You could have your choice of so many men! You are at the top of your game right now and if this guy isn't your equal, now is the time to move on. Is his career on the same level as yours? If not, please consider who will have better prospects longterm and decide which career to give priority based on that.
      Mar 14, 2018
    • Amazon iAlexa
      I didnt mean to sound rude!
      I moved to Seattle because of my gf!
      Because she liked being in Seattle, coz she thought she has a better career and life there and it wasn’t a big compromise for me!

      So yes, dump him for not being understanding.
      Dump him for forcing you to take a decision
      Dump him for thinking that his career is more important than yours
      Mar 14, 2018
  • Amazon TruthOrDie
    How will you feel if he turns out to be a cad, like 90+% of men who are definitely worth less than a promotion? I am on the old and cynical side here.
    Mar 14, 2018 1
    • Whole Foods Iodined
      Thank you. After watching my cohort go through the first run of marriages? Very difficult to watch someone possibly sacrifice career just because a bf can't handle distance. If the relationship is solid? It can wait.
      Mar 14, 2018
  • Zulily FQVE38
    WTF. This is dead simple. Amazon managers tell everyone they are a few months away from promotion. What will happen is that some VP you've never heard of will deny it at OLR and you'll have lost a relationship and a promotion.
    Mar 14, 2018 3
    • Amazon EYEQ85
      That's literally not how it works. SDE2 is a doorway into an income bracket and career path that 99.9% of humans will never achieve. If your manager can't tell you what you need to demonstrate in the next quarter, talk to your skip. Skips have final approval for a 1 to a 2. For the sake of your future marriage/kids/house/vacations/retirement...don't screw with this stage of your career.
      Mar 14, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng vJpQ74
      OP
      Yeah I fear that things could go wrong and I'm not sure if manager is going to live up to the promises. However like you said, being SDE 2 is a big deal.
      Mar 14, 2018
    • Zulily FQVE38
      SDE2 pays shit. There are thousands of equivalent jobs. Just go work at Microshaft or Google for a year and boomerang back as SDE2, because even if you get promoted they will rip you off on compensation.
      Mar 14, 2018
  • Microsoft
    Malar

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Uber, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, Expedia
    Malarmore
    Why can’t your boyfriend move
    Mar 14, 2018 1
    • Amazon iAlexa
      Exactly!
      Mar 14, 2018
  • Perficient reactnativ
    You can always find another boyfriend
    Mar 14, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Eng vJpQ74
      OP
      He's the one. My real dilemma is I'm okay losing some time living together in favor of a promotion.
      Mar 14, 2018
  • IBM / Other Kct
    If you move it doesn’t mean you aren’t ambitious. Whenever there are 2 careers you both need to balance your relationship goals with your career goals. No reason to give up either. However if you find you are always the one compromising your career then I’d rethink the relationship.
    Mar 14, 2018 0
  • Amazon MBAnimist
    What would you regret more: missing a promotion for a boyfriend that didn’t work out, or missing out on a husband for a promotion that didn’t work out?
    Mar 15, 2018 0
  • Airbnb what???!
    how long are you two in a relationship? it takes compromise. if he can't take LDR, then he isnt worth it.
    Mar 14, 2018 2
    • Amazon / Eng vJpQ74
      OP
      2 years in a relationship. Known each other for 3.5 years.
      Mar 14, 2018
    • Airbnb what???!
      well, you said either way, you'll have to wait 1yr for any promotion anywhere. it still buys you time if this guy really is the one. Distance is a great test for a relationship..
      patience, trust, loyalty, compromise
      Mar 16, 2018
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft winfs
      The fictional bias perceived in the responses is reflective of the nature of the 'wage gap'.
      Mar 14, 2018
  • Amazon yfUL20
    I was once in the exact same situation. I took the girl. We broke up within six months after I moved. You can't know they are "the one" when at a distance. If I could do it again, I'd work remotely for a while and be with them - maybe half of the month. Then the decision will be easy.
    Mar 15, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng vJpQ74
    OP
    Hey guys! Thanks so much for your suggestions. We're going to talk it out and make a decision.

    But for some of the harsher commentors out there, I just want to say. He really isn't forcing me to do anything. He wants me to come but he'll support me if I decide to stay.

    I didn't want to live apart for too long either and I was looking for answers to help me decide what I really wanted to do.
    Mar 14, 2018 0
  • Aon Hewitt Qqwjxdt
    If he's the one having more issues with the long distance then he should be the one moving. Since you said it's not possible yet from his side due to visa issues then wait it out. Don't mess up your career
    Mar 14, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Mgmt sdmlife
    +1 for promotion then transfer. It's not 1 or 2 semesters more that will end your love (and if it does, it's a sign that you did the best decision).

    It will help you in your career wherever you go and will reflect on your relationship.

    If u move then break up in the future, you regret and "blame him". I'd stay, work even harder for the promo (for the next cycle), increase the trips to see each other and only then move.
    Mar 14, 2018 0
  • Amazon Bambizzle
    Promote then move. AND in the meantime see what you can do to get some extra time with him. Video calls help, and weekend trips both ways.
    SDE2 is a big jump up and not getting this promo can put you a couple years behind.
    Tell your manager you WANT THIS PROMO and actively work strongly toward it to get it ASAP.
    Mar 14, 2018 0
  • Amazon bak
    Take promotion. Then move, love should support your career. What you do and progress in that will be the source of happiness. And only if u are happy can u truly invest in your relationship
    Mar 14, 2018 0

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