Unusual Google PM Compensation Situation

New yfOz18
Aug 27 25 Comments

Had on-site for Google PM (L5) & my recruiter told me to expect to hear back from HC in the next week or so. I might be getting ahead of myself, but this has prompted me to think about compensation.

I think I'm in a decently unique circumstance for negotiating. In terms of my current work & comp, I'm juggling a couple different balls:
- Fractional CPO/Product Management Consultant for 4-5 clients a year @ $120-250/hour with pre-determined retainers & engagement lengths
- Data Science & Machine Learning Consultant for 2-3 clients a year @ $140-280/hour with pre-determined retainers & engagement lengths
- Due Diligence & Expert Network type work for VCs, PEs, HFs , etc. a couple weeks a year @ $160-$280/hour (fairly variable)
- Partner in an events company that personally nets me ~$50,000/year which I have to be operationally involved in (wouldn't be able to if I took Google)
- Partner in a niche digital marketing firm that nets mw ~$80,000/year which I also have to be operationally involved in (wouldn't be able to if I took Google either)

My total yearly compensation varies with how much I work & what deals I put together:
2016 - $205k
2017 - $220k
2018 - $243k
2019 - ~$275K (pro forma)

Note: this is working about 10 months a year living in a relatively low COL (TX) compared to the MTV or NYC (the two places I'd consider).

I know Google low-balls unless you have a competing offer from a public company. I wasn't looking for a job when Google reached out, but I given it was Google I figured I'd give it a shot; as such, I haven't interviewed with any other companies.

In my case, could I ask Google to match or at least approach matching my average yearly earnings along with a small COL adjustment? Statically, the Bay Area is about twice as expensive before accounting for state taxes as where I am currently; I don't expect Google to double my current income of course, but I'm wondering if that would be factored into my compensation.

It's taken a good bit of failing & struggle, but I know my current setup is pretty sweet. That said, I'm fairly weary of working completely independently 95% of the time, hustling for deal flow, and living in TX. I've been finding myself wanting more and more to be in an environment surrounded by world-class people I can learn from & grow with, focusing on crafting a single product, & moving back to SF.

Also, given I don't a competing offer from a public company to leverage would I be able use my tax filings from previous years to show current compensation to match/use as an anchor?

Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks!

TC: $275k
YOE: 6

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TOP 25 Comments
  • Oath OPnd70
    How are you getting these gigs?
    Aug 27 11
    • New yfOz18
      OP
      The level & comp from experience makes sense. However, I do have a competing offer: it’s from myself. I’d imagine current comp would be an analog for a competing offer from another company given that current comp is literally what Google would be competing against to get the hire. But, the world doesn’t always make sense ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
      Aug 27
    • Pinterest EjYR40
      Damn, this is cool. Can you share your tips on building and maintaining a network?
      Aug 27
    • New yfOz18
      OP
      DM me
      Aug 30
    • Deloitte / Product
      V.Y

      Deloitte Product

      BIO
      Hi There! How can I help?
      V.Ymore
      Wow, interesting stuff OP, May I drop you a DM!
      All the best with the upcoming news
      Sep 13
    • New yfOz18
      OP
      Sure
      Sep 20
  • Amazon nGum87
    It always comes down to how badly google wants you. With your current life, you probably should only go to google for 350k or so.

    You also do not have to prove anything to anyone. Just be willing to walk away if they don't give you a number you like.
    Aug 27 4
    • Google QuantumDoc
      I'll second this. I didn't have any competing external offers, but I knew (thanks to Blind!) what the market rate was and basically made that my walk away number. If they really want you badly enough they will get there.
      Aug 27
    • New yfOz18
      OP
      I definitely agree with you on proving anything to anyone and being willing to walk away. I’m just wondering if there’s anyway to get the numbers up after the initial offer in this situation. Assuming they want me a good amount and give me a number below $350k, I’m guessing I just tell them it’s not enough then counter & wait to see if they come back with anything better?
      Aug 27
    • Google QuantumDoc
      Well, only you know what your number is. If they offered $325 would you take it? You're the only one who knows what you're worth. But if you're committed to it, push as hard as you can.
      Aug 27
    • New yfOz18
      OP
      I likely would accept, mostly to test my hypothesis that working at Google and moving to SF would accelerate my growth personally & professionally. I’m thinking if that hypothesis proves false within a year or so, I can fairly easily go back to the work I’m doing now; expect now I’d get to add the veneer of working at Google to my pitch which doesn’t matter much but I’m fairly sure would allow me to raise my rates a bit & generate more deal flow. So, it’s kind of a win either way now that I think about it 😁
      Aug 27
  • Cisco / IT shdifigbrk
    FYI in California it’s illegal for them to ask you how much you currently or previously made. So they can’t really dig for your tax returns or anything to “prove” how much you could be making.
    Aug 27 2
    • New yfOz18
      OP
      Ah, that’s right.
      Aug 27
    • New / Project qEsh05
      To clarify, it is illegal in California (and Washington) for employers to ask your salary history. You can still volunteer that information, at which point they can try to verify it if they wanted to (though I don't think any company would seek out your tax returns). I personally would find it incredibly weird and inappropriate if an employee shared their tax return.

      What you previously made has nothing to do with the job you'd be doing for them in the future. Prove you're worth whatever it is you want and be ready to walk away if they won't offer it.
      Aug 27
  • Google poorrich
    275k for L5 PM is easy. Google PMs are on eng ladder. You can actually expect 325k per year for base+ bonus at CME + 1/4 of initial grant .
    Aug 27 0
  • Sirius XM / Product bOqC28
    @yfOz18 any update on this? fwiw: I just got approved by HC and my initial team matches included a role in Austin
    Sep 29 0
  • Google / Mgmt Bingpot
    They are not allowed to consider current comp at all, even if you provide it. All you can do is push back, and if the offer is not high enough, decline
    Aug 27 2
    • Google macropolo
      Not true.

      They can and do consider current comp/offers

      That said, as you can tell from the responses, most folks think your deal is pretty sweet. Can goog give you 300k? Yes.
      Aug 27
    • Google / Mgmt Bingpot
      They can absolutely consider offers, even internal offers with the same company. They cannot consider current comp per policy, or at least that is what my comp contact told me this year.
      Aug 27