My wife is in a better career trajectory - is this the time for me to step back and help with family?

Amazon step back
Sep 17, 2018 52 Comments

Been with Amazon for 5+ years as L6 SDM. Looks like my career is kind of peaked for now- had lot of management changes. TC is at 450K+ for next 2 years. I don’t have a strong “sponsor” to push my L7 promotion due to politics and stuff. I manage a 20+ engineering team @ Amazon for last few years. I am mid 30s and my spouse just touched 30.

My wife is in a competitor of Amazon and is actually doing quite well, her career trajectory took off well in the last 3 years and she is at a L7 equivalent level managing a 40+ eng team and 500k+ TC.

We have 3 kids and its been a challenge with both of us having very busy lives - our lives revolve around nannies, helpers, cleaners, parents to help us once a while - it is crazy. One of us need to take a little “step back” and I think I should be the one doing that considering her career trajectory. She does lion's share of work at home as I was busy focusing on work and I realize that it isnt correct and fair and have started contributing.

I have an offer from another firm for a TC 510K (I am going to keep the firm anonymous) but it has relatively good work life balance. I will be managing a smaller team of 5-6 TPMs & PMs and can balance work and life. It will be a step down in terms of profile but step up in terms of compensation and life.

Any thoughts from folks where husband and wife work and have 2+ kids.

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TOP 52 Comments
  • Salesforce H1b-hero
    Lot of things don’t make sense. Wife 30 years old with 3 kids and made it to l7 ?? If this is true she is amazing and for sure step back.
    Sep 17, 2018 2
    • Amazon step back
      OP
      Yeah man. She keeps rocking at work. It took me long time to realize that. She kept on getting promoted every 2 years.
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Amazon LoanerBadg
      What's the secret to her success. Maybe you can learn from her?
      Sep 17, 2018
  • FTI Consulting / Other N3X7
    I too would like to take a $500k+ offer for work-life balance reasons.

    Teach me your ways Yoda.
    Sep 17, 2018 0
  • Oath Ladbt
    Yes, do it! Your kids will benefit tremendously, your wife will love the initiative and you will see another side to life!
    Sep 17, 2018 0
  • Amazon gemalto
    Commendable! You're a good dude
    Sep 17, 2018 2
    • Amazon gemalto
      Plus you can boomerang back in a year or two if you want as an L7
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Amazon step back
      OP
      Thanks!
      Sep 17, 2018
  • Microsoft GOD!
    Why can't you just say, one of the other companies is Microsoft 😂
    Sep 17, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Product 📦 3
      He said a competitor not “a country club that’s nearby”
      Sep 19, 2018
  • New aLuu55
    These are what I would refer to as “good problems”.
    Sep 17, 2018 1
    • Microsoft fjeoeieh47
      Everyone else calls them first world problems....but that is also an understatement in this case
      Sep 18, 2018
  • Amazon Variance
    Yes! I’m a woman. My husband has done this for our family and it’s wonderful. Also the best way to model actual equality for our children. The childbearing breastfeeding was overwhelmingly me. Now the parenting defaults to him and I have tons of support as I keep moving up. It’s good for kids to have at least one parent that’s really paying attention and can support when needed.
    Sep 17, 2018 1
  • Google / Eng whatsgood
    A 500k “step down” job is not a step down in my book. Take the new job you fool. It’s a no brainer.
    Sep 17, 2018 2
    • IBM KalCap
      Exactly my thoughts. Would love to ‘step down’ to 500k. Now I’m wondering if you guys are some new race of superhumans or something
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Microsoft fjeoeieh47
      They're both bots, and one of them has decided it'll be funny to play with some hoomans
      Sep 18, 2018
  • Target / Eng vGps10
    Come to target. You will get the work life balance you are looking for.
    Sep 17, 2018 5
    • Amazon step back
      OP
      And 500k+ TC?
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Pivotal ambu56
      In Minneapolis? And TC of what? Maybe 175k?
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Target / Eng vGps10
      Sunnyvale. Minneapolis is at 270k for l7.
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Target / Eng vGps10
      You want 500k and work life balance? Sure. Why not.
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Amazon step back
      OP
      There are 2-3 companies where one can get both :-)
      Sep 17, 2018
  • Docker Dnn &/2
    Just go to Europe, real childcare, normal WLB, cheap nannies.
    Sep 17, 2018 0
  • Amazon lkhfag
    Can't believe how your wife got promoted every 2 years (Like L6 to L7 in 2 years?!), having 3 kids. I don't know how old they are, but you must have had A LOT of help, because the first 6 months after giving birth moms really don't have any sleep at all, which results in exhaust, depression and loss of energy.
    Appreciate the help you had with your kids.
    Sep 21, 2018 1
    • Intel FNiy40
      +1 to above comment
      Sep 22, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng
    Wonderword

    Microsoft Eng

    BIO
    Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
    Wonderwordmore
    Tech is better for women with all diversity initiatives. If she could climb up so fast while doing a lions share of housework, it is clear she is the one to go. You are not doing bad either but perhaps it is time to give love to kids they deserve. These days, there are increasing number of fathers at supporting role and no Americans will look at you weirdly. In fact, you will look like a good father people envy for.
    Sep 17, 2018 3
    • Amazon step back
      OP
      Thanks. I am not bothered about weird looks from others - it’s just family from conservative background. I have tried telling them how important job my spouse does, but they don’t realize it and doesn’t appreciate her skills.
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Amazon Variance
      Fix it for the next generation. Showing is better than telling.
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng
      Wonderword

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
      Wonderwordmore
      Your family will be more important than your parents. They will understand - that is parents. You will do the same when your kids grow up. You want the best for them and don’t want them to live for you.
      Sep 18, 2018
  • Apple GtCI06
    One of the guys in my team did that a while back, he stepped back when his kids where young, and recently as they are going to high school, he returned to tech. He did not completely isolate from the world and is quite up to date, so it’s a super smooth jump back in. It’s doable, and at the level you’re now, you should be able to jump back in once your kids start “hating” the parents (i.e. high-school). Keep your network alive :)
    Sep 17, 2018 3
    • Amazon $72+idjx
      It was probably easy for him to land a job because right now the labor market is tight and it's hard to find help. It is a good time to jump back in right now.
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Apple GtCI06
      True, all is tied to a time and location. But it’s an example of how things can go. Nothing is for sure :)
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Amazon $72+idjx
      Yep absolutely!
      Sep 17, 2018
  • Microsoft sourinho
    Welcome to MSFT!
    Sep 17, 2018 0
  • Microsoft msftpotato
    Take the offer and try for a year. If a better wlb solves your issues stay there, if not, take a few years off until your kids are older
    Sep 17, 2018 0
  • Nike / Ops sq1713
    First off, congratulations! You and your wife sound like you've accomplished quite a bit already, and it's commendable that you not only recognize and appreciate your wife's awesomeness but also how important spending time with family is. Bravo to you. Have the two of you discussed you stepping back and come to a mutual agreement on this, or are you asking for some preliminary thoughts first? Discussing with your wife is most important. Also, even though you have an incredible income already, have you given thought to how this change will impact your financial planning, paying off any debts, retirement goals, etc? Also something to factor in. If you and your wife have discussed and agreed to this course of action after considering all the factors that will affect your family, I say go for it. You've clearly earned it and I'm sure your kids would love to see more of you. Best wishes whatever you choose!
    Sep 17, 2018 2
    • Amazon step back
      OP
      Thanks. I am not quitting job. I am taking up a program management role from engineering manager role but at a higher compensation.
      Sep 17, 2018
    • Nike / Ops sq1713
      Ahh, I misread. Either way, sounds like an excellent move for you. Congrats! And you're a lucky guy for having such an amazing wife!
      Sep 17, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng æ
    Your wife is lucky. What does she think though?
    Sep 19, 2018 0
  • Facebook tuiiasdx
    Wow, this post gives me so much positive energy, I wish one day I can find a partner like you. Btw, your wife rocks!
    Sep 17, 2018 0
  • Google / Eng
    googaga

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Intel
    googagamore
    absolutely take it! work life balance with a pretty decent comp is the dream.
    Sep 17, 2018 0
  • Kudos to both of you. I'm wondering where does your wife work?
    Sep 17, 2018 0