Transition to FAANG from public sector

Feb 17 18 Comments

As the posts suggests. Recently started looking to leave public sector, (Federal Government), and have been targeting usual suspects. Looking mostly @ non-SDE types roles, i.e. TPM, Prod Mgr, and other relevant business side roles. Anyone make the leap? How has it gone?

Currently
YOE: 12
TC: 150k + typical gov perks (lots of time off, pension etc...)

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TOP 18 Comments
  • Microsoft dfdgh
    This is the lowest TC by blind standards!
    Feb 17 8
    • OP
      Most of my time has been spent in the National Security, and Defense Intelligence arena. Have recently been working mostly in the tech integration side of those verticals, where before it was mostly policy and operations based.

      Federal Law Enforcement is not nearly as glamorous as Hollywood makes it out to be. Definitely not denigrating their service, but, unless I wanted to take roughly a 50% pay cut, it’s not really an option.
      Feb 17
    • Microsoft dfdgh
      Sure, I am not into Hollywood and I totally understand. But probably more glamorous than a tech job in Faang.
      But yeah, I hear you on the paycheck.
      Feb 17
    • Microsoft dfdgh
      Feel free to dm me if you need a referral for LinkedIn. (Good pay, food, MSFT stocks, and best wlb about tier 1 tech)
      Feb 17
    • CGI nEmT28
      No LinkedIn office in DC (that I'm aware of), if OP does want to stay in DC Metro.
      Feb 17
    • OP
      Definitely appreciate it! I think convincing the fam to support a career change and a shift in coasts may be a tall order currently. If I make the leap, will definitely continue to reassess that point though.
      Feb 18
  • Intel xfer
    You have a quality life. Why do you want to go crazy now ? Enjoy your life, take lots of vacations , have fun with your family.

    Seriously man !
    Feb 17 1
    • OP
      Quality of life is the lone point of concern. Current role offers a ton of it, that said, not all fed jobs are that way. Know the theme would suggest otherwise but at the upper end of the pay scale it does often come with its share of BS. Last job was a $hit$how. 60 hr week norms, weekends etc... no extra money either...
      Feb 17
  • Apple industry
    You need to assess a few things before making this decision.

    --> Can you work for profit? I imagine your role in the government is not profit driven and oriented towards public good? Can you leave that environment (where you spent 12 years) and work in a corporate role where decisions are dictated mostly by profit?

    --> Would it be possible to go back to your federal role if you are not satisfied with FAANG?

    --> Are you confident that joining a FAANG will improve your life in a tangible way? Sure, TC will increase at a FAANG but it often comes at the cost of work/life balance, especially for product and management roles.

    --> How does job security at your current role compare with that at a FAANG role? I would imagine federal jobs are fairly stable and more secure than industrial roles.
    Feb 17 2
    • OP
      Thank you for the prompts, these questions are definitely things I’ve thought through a bit.

      You are correct that government is non-profit and the greater good aspect can be found in certain roles. That said, the bureaucracy is soul crushing and ultimately I get up everyday to work on challenging issues with smart people. If profit is the driver and those two things remain I’m hopeful that I can adapt.

      Barring the collapse of the republic, fed jobs will remain. Regarding my current role even at the glacial pace of federal hiring it would likely be filled before I would honestly throw in the towel.

      Fully expect the biggest differentiator to be TC. Currently plug in about 50hrs p/wk office time, and another 10hrs of email work a week. From what I gather that is consistent with a good number, albeit not all roles in FANG.

      Job security is the hook. Poor performance removal happens in the government but the bar is so low, it’s almost unheard of. Down sizing and the like is similarly nonexistent. Realize this is a much more real prospect within industry.
      Feb 17
    • Apple industry
      That's right, poor performance removals can be brutal in FAANG (especially Amazon and Netflix) and you will be on edge most of the time. If you have dependents, that's something you definitely have to take into account.

      Since you are interested in product roles, it's good to know that wlb for these roles is especially messed up as these roles are directly customer facing and you don't want to disappoint. The worst among FAANG in this regard I think is Apple.

      Regarding culture, it can be hard to adjust to a corporate, for-profit environment coming from a government org. My suggestion would be to make friends with someone at these companies and get to know how the private world works. Or as someone suggested here, try being a contractor and see if you like that, and go from there.
      Feb 17
  • New / Eng sparked
    Honestly the cultures are so drastically different that I wouldn’t even recommend. I would look at joining a contractor first, that’ll give you a step in the direction you want to go, increase your TC, and you won’t be starting from square 1 like you would if you went to FANG. I would recommend looking at contractors that do both fed and commercial such as Boeing, Fire Eye, Cisco, etc
    Feb 17 1
    • OP
      Would love to get a bit more insight into this... Would tech focused companies that are non FANG be a better fit? Realizing FANG seems a bit fluid here. I do know Amazon and Microsoft are heavy in pub sec support, though realize many here don’t consider them Tier 1 organizations...
      Feb 17
  • CGI nEmT28
    OP are you me? VERY similar situation, except I'm on the contractor side.

    I will say this from my own personal recent experience. If you are looking to stay in DC Metro, this will be an uphill battle; simply based on numbers. Even though we do have offices here for FB, Amazon, Google, Uber, Lyft, Salesforce, Microsoft; we don't have many of the other "hot" companies (Netflix, LinkedIn, AirBnb, Pinterest, etc). Even the offices/divisions that are here, are small in comparison to The Bay or NYC. Needless to say I'm still on the hunt.

    If you are cleared (which I assume you are based on your experience description), I would for sure be looking to look at the contractor side. They are all DESPERATE for already cleared individuals.

    Good luck!
    Feb 17 0
  • Dropbox / Eng kMhc18
    With 12 YOE, switch to FAANG only if you like free food, free alcohol, hanging out with annoying 20 somethings and always being connected (read: working) even on holidays.
    Feb 17 0

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