Working for FAANG, it's not just join and kick back

Apple apbob
Feb 13 349 Comments

I'm at a FAANG, been in them for a while.

So many people on here are fighting to work at one of them. The TC is often spectacular. The marquee name on your resume is worth its weight in gold too. But before you think it's the end-all, get a little dose of reality. You are earning that money.

Relationships are difficult to keep working for the top tier companies. Your job comes first. Always. It doesn't matter what is going on in your personal life. WIfe's family is coming to town? Kids have sporting events or getting awards at school? Piano recital? Finally got a date with that person you have always wanted? Your girlfriend having a dinner party or special event she had been planning for months for your birthday?

Sorry, something in China just blew up. United has a redeye going there tonight, run by the house and get your bag. Your wife or girlfriend doesn't understand and says to tell your management that you had previous plans this weekend and can't go. Haha. That's adorable. Not going to happen. You are going to China. That doesn't fly at FAANG.

Your friends and family will be envious of your exotic travel. Half of them don't even have passports. You fill yours and have to get extra pages. Your facebook page looks like a travel brochure. But it wears thin quickly. The resentment from home you can cut with a knife. Your kids are good sports about it all, but you feel guilty for all the stuff you missed.

On these trips, the best you can hope for is getting a couple of nice meals out. A lot of times you aren't traveling with a bunch of your bros and hitting the bars after work, you are traveling alone. The local people you work with have lives and families and go home at night. You are sitting up at midnight eating room service off the limited "night" menu, calling home to talk to the wife and kids or girlfriend. They can't completely hold back the resentment that you flake every time they make plans.

I think there is a lot of holy grail talk about working for a FAANG, but you have to accept that you are going to be putting the job in front of everything else in your life. I can give you a whole litany of things I've missed because I had to take a trip last-minute or right before a major release on an impossible timeline and everyone is working super late every night. You get home and just turn on the computer again. You go to work, and it's dark, and you come home, and it's dark.

Everyone thinks they can step up and run at that level and will swear up and down they can live like that, but it's a lot harder than you think. There will be lots of people that say "Oh, it's not like that for me" but if you are ascending through the ranks, these are the tradeoffs you need to make

I was on the road traveling or in the office working 25 weekends last year. The only downtime I get is those 13 hours flights when I can disconnect and watch mindless movies.

I have no intention of going anywhere, but I'm just sharing that it's not for everyone, even those that think they can hang at that level. Some people thrive in it. Some people get burned out. Plenty of divorces at work and a few substance abuse issues and people that after 3 or 4 years look like they have aged 10. Lots say they will do it for a few years and quit. Then you have kids. Price out college lately? Want to own a home in a good school district in the bay area? You aren't quitting any time soon.

Go for it if that is what you want, but go in eyes wide open and think about what you will trade for money.

TC: $625k

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TOP 349 Comments
  • Google VVGo72
    You just don't know how to balance work and life! I have an average of 40 hour weeks and relatively successful in terms of career progression. That is the balance I chose and I don't complain about it.

    TC: 450k
    Feb 13 14
    • Amazon / Ops Puffalope
      Lmao says the person at Uber.

      @jidao
      Feb 14
    • Uber / R&D jidao
      Well unlike you I know my place. I'm not pretending being a tier 1 company when I work for a tier 2...
      Feb 15
    • Amazon / Ops Puffalope
      @jidao lol.
      As far as I know, FAANG is an acronym for large cap tech companies. That’s the only definition that matters because it affects stock prices and therefore my TC. But I’ll be sure to let investors know that Blind users feel differently.
      Feb 15
    • Uber / R&D jidao
      Thank you
      Feb 15
    • Uber / R&D jidao
      It's important they know how we, blind users, feel
      Feb 15
  • Microsoft / Eng pvdhjcb
    It's not like you're at Facebook or Google, it's just Apple.
    Feb 13 13
    • Apple / Eng
      iHateFruit

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Apple
      iHateFruitmore
      Apple doesn’t care for its employees. Can confirm
      Feb 15
    • Microsoft TheAnonBoy
      How so?
      Feb 15
    • Apple / Eng
      iHateFruit

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Apple
      iHateFruitmore
      Working weekends around WWDC and September release is expected.

      Benefits are not great.
      Feb 15
    • Microsoft / Eng pvdhjcb
      Have worked for both.
      Feb 15
    • Microsoft IIeT35
      Microsoft isn’t relevant at all! Their market cap is shit! Doesn’t compare at all to GOOgLe!
      Feb 17
  • Oracle / Eng HushPuppy
    Why don't you quit??
    Feb 13 4
    • Apple apbob
      OP
      Because I'm a masochist who thrives in chaos and pressure. I think I'm just feeling a little melancholy tonight reflecting while reading all of these "how do I get into FAANG" posts here. By all means, go for it, but think carefully about what job you want and what you are willing to trade.
      Feb 13
    • Shopify / Mgmt
      i28hriwjah

      Shopify Mgmt

      PRE
      Apple
      i28hriwjahmore
      Because these companies hire people with self esteem issues who have something to prove and don't tell their bosses to shove it.
      Feb 14
    • Facebook execvp
      At least you know yourself...
      Feb 15
    • Google YCloud
      I think there may be some unconscious bias at work here OP. it is not all dark/lonely/chaotic/guilt for everyone in the FAANGs, although I felt plenty in my younger days.. I work weekends a lot too and feel constant pressure to perform. However, I still manage to have a pretty good life.. and yes I’ve got kids ranging ages 10-20 y.o. + a big fat mortgage too. If you can’t achieve a good balance, you either have a shit manager, poor planning skills, a shit remit, or a combination of things u can change. Good luck folks. Try to reconfigure and redesign your life. Your kids won’t be small again! TC 450k
      Feb 15
  • Morgan Stanley death&taxe
    With 625 TC id retire after 5 years
    Feb 13 13
    • Google / Eng Mr Glass
      $1m isn't enough to sustain a similar lifestyle. You need to save for kids college, increasing medical bills (remember, no employer sponsored insurance after retirement), higher travel budget, cost of housing in good school district, etc. Remember your expense will go up as you age. You'll want a comfortable car, decent house, and enjoy finer things in life. You'd need $5m at the very least and $8m to be comfortable. That would mean a withdrawal of $400k a year.
      Feb 14
    • Intuit tgfi
      It’s all choices, leave the Bay and the math changes. Car etc. those are priorities. Maybe not 5 but at 8-10 years with likely salary growth and maybe a second income? It depends on what you want to prioritize. He can absolutely retire from his current job and get something else that keeps the bills paid while not dropping $2M on a house.
      Feb 14
    • Morgan Stanley hotChicken
      Tbh, I agree with my Morgan Stanley friend up there. If you save 250k per year for 5 years and your wife does the same, you can go back to India and live like a god.
      Feb 14
    • Microsoft yubxsv
      Morgan Stanley, do you mean saving 250k per annum as a couple or saving 500k per annum as a couple?
      Feb 14
    • Morgan Stanley hotChicken
      500k. 250k each
      Feb 15
  • Microsoft blind1186
    Why so much of travel? Sales/Marketing?
    Feb 13 6
    • Amazon goal earl
      So it not about FAANG, it’s about your job and ability to balance work and life. Don’t generalize – your life suck, not everyone else’s
      Feb 14
    • Salesforce CloudSurfr
      Don't be a jerk goal...he didn't say any of that. You did. He just said think about these things.👌🙄
      Feb 14
    • Splunk smiley 😀
      But barely anyone in software flies to China at the last minute. I've known people at small start ups in hardware that they fly to SE Asia all the time. This isn't about FAANG, this is about working hardware in a world where all of the plants are a 12 hour flight away.
      Feb 14
    • Salesforce AkOj58
      Last week I was at Amazon and I asked about wlb, 4 interviewers said they usually work 40 hrs/week but it 70 hours/week happens sometimes. Amazon is fucked up too, as far as I heard
      Feb 14
    • Splunk KE94107
      Ah, the old days: when I worked on hardware projects, the factory floor was a stairwell away.
      Feb 15
  • Facebook public2
    Incorrect but sorry that has been your experience. Luckily with 625k/year you will be able to retire soon at least.
    Feb 13 12
    • Uber djcxjsg
      Who would honestly retire in SF
      Feb 14
    • Oracle / R&D lHEA77
      If you're set on retiring at 67 or whatever, yeah you can probably retire in SF. Buy a house early on, probably. But a FIRE person should get the hell out when they retire. Accumulate in HCOL, retire in LCOL
      Feb 14
    • Salesforce CloudSurfr
      " You drop close to $2M for a home because you have a wife and kids and you want your kids to go to a good school district." Agreed, the most financially expedient thing would be to leave the bay area. But that's the context he gave.
      Feb 14
    • Move / Eng
      rbevdjwnd

      Move Eng

      BIO
      Heuaheuahuehauehaysuha
      rbevdjwndmore
      One of my former bosses semi retired in SF. No idea how. Has an amazing house and automated the shit out of it though lol
      Feb 14
    • Facebook public2
      Bay area retiree here. Love the area and it's where most of my family and friends are.
      Feb 14
  • AppDynamics jobhunt1ng
    What’s your role?
    Feb 13 4
    • Apple apbob
      OP
      Without disclosing too much, senior hardware role.
      Feb 13
    • Square inhtsxvbhg
      That’s the difference. The vast majority of people on Blind are software not hardware. My company has roles like that too (as far as I understand), but it’s still very rare to be the person that’s so tied to production that you’d need to fly to China. Personally, my worst case scenario is I open my laptop at home, fix a bug that slipped through some how, and deploy off master to prod.
      Feb 14
    • Amazon dROL65
      Plus one, hw not equal to sw. And a in famg is for Amazon 😂
      Feb 14
    • Twitter / Eng
      EditTweet

      Twitter Eng

      BIO
      Definitely Jack Dorsey
      EditTweetmore
      The software people in Apple seem to kick back. So many things are ignored and there are so many obvious bugs Apple doesn’t give a shit about.
      Feb 15
  • Intel TrumpGod
    Yet you probably don't have a single first author publication in your whole life.

    Work so hard for engineering efforts but you have added 0.00 knowledge to the theory of computing.

    What a farce.
    Feb 14 9
    • Amazon / R&D ATTE75
      Arrogance and stupidity always come in tge same package with Trump ;)
      Feb 14
    • Apple no signal
      Being a first author on a pub doesn’t mean shit, you really need to take a chill pill.
      Feb 14
    • Intel TrumpGod
      It means a lot more than implementing things people wrote about in papers ;-)

      That is all you do.
      Feb 14
    • Apple no signal
      Done both, sounds like you haven’t
      Feb 14
    • Airbnb / Eng hr_machine
      Obvious troll yall, please exit thread
      Feb 14
  • Deloitte chillgal
    Hold my beer, OP. I am a management consultant. Travel every week to client site and the W Times Square checkin lady always greets me with “welcome back home”. I had slept maybe 30 nights in my own bed last year 😊
    Feb 14 5
    • Intel sales_bro
      Bonvoy plat!
      Feb 14
    • Deloitte chillgal
      Yes indeed. Lifetime platinum to be precise 😊
      Feb 14
    • New CiOI38
      chillgal Is right on there. I had years at Big 4 where I flew 50 weeks a year, only home Friday - Sun.
      Feb 14
    • Salesforce ziLA83
      20 years in consulting, lived that life. Didn’t even get the 650. Settled for 300 and a couple of divorces.

      Have my consulting “pension” of lifetime AA plat and Bonvoy Titanium.

      This story isn’t a FAANG thing, it’s a shitty work life balance/job thing.

      I know lots of FAANG that don’t travel very much at D+ levels.
      Feb 14
    • Apple apbob
      OP
      Yes, for all the disbelief at this lifestyle, I don't hold a candle to what management consultants and IB friends do.

      I have a McKinsey friend that does the 50 weeks of travel a year. She says that just driving past SFO makes her feel violently ill. Most people would think this was an exaggeration but with her I think she is serious.

      @chillgal - that Times Square W is much better than the one on Lexington (Midtown?) but I like the downtown (Wall Street) one too. Midtown is tiny even with plat upgrades! Don't they have a good bar in the W at TS?
      Feb 19
  • Facebook sum42pwd
    Replying from a flight right now, had a hotel dinner at 11pm last night, miss my family, my mum noticed that I’m getting a lot of grey hairs and I’m not even 35.

    That said, the opportunities are great, never thought I’d make this much from a job (still below $500k), and I could always switch roles or teams to a less travel heavy one if it was truly wearing me down.

    Appreciate you sharing your perspective though.
    Feb 13 5
    • Oracle not_larry
      What role?
      Feb 13
    • Facebook sum42pwd
      One of the non SWE engineering roles, so I have to do client stuff in different regions.
      Feb 13
    • Cerner / Eng
      icecup

      Cerner Eng

      PRE
      Cerner Corporation
      BIO
      software engineer
      icecupmore
      Grey hair is not caused by stress or any other emotional issue.
      Feb 14
    • Facebook sum42pwd
      @Cerner I read that recently too actually; I guess it’s just genes
      Feb 14
    • Apple apbob
      OP
      Try to tell your mom it's not stress-related! She knows better.
      Feb 19
  • Google Mmkaay
    And please don’t expect that other at lower tier companies are cruising. Many work as hard for around $100k TC
    Feb 14 0
  • Uber / Eng nYf6sJ
    "I work at FANG" - amazon
    "I work at FAANG" - apple
    "I work at <somewhere else>" - other people
    Feb 14 5
    • Google / Eng
      LeeJaeDong

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      LeeJaeDongmore
      “I want to work at FAANG” - Microsoft
      Feb 14
    • Microsoft / Eng pvdhjcb
      Wrong
      Feb 14
    • Amazon / Eng bananas69
      I like FUBAR - Facebook Uber Bain Apple Redfin
      Feb 14
    • Microsoft Girlfriend
      It’s actually FAAMG, and I used to work for apple. You couldn’t pay me enough to work at the giant safe space for sjw’s google has become. It’s a literal daycare. Wah wah, we’re going to walk out bc our feelings are hurt over some new bullshit that literally doesn’t matter, today.
      Feb 14
    • BCG Anon778
      ^This is so dumb just felt that it needed to be explicitly acknowledged
      Feb 15
  • Airbnb xfeftr
    This is not the norm in FAANG. You just have a shitty job.
    Feb 14 0
  • Facebook nickiminaj
    There’s a difference between FANG and FAANG
    Feb 14 6
    • Amazon UUVv22
      Amazon at L6 and above is probably the best company amongst all of FANG. L4 and L5 - maybe not.
      Feb 14
    • Google Mmkaay
      ^ Thanks for the laugh 😂
      Feb 14
    • Lyft TEHm35
      Amazon folks always deluded ...
      Feb 14
    • Amazon / Eng
      onMyWay

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      AWS
      onMyWaymore
      Maybe in terms of doing something that benefits the general population. Probably not for comp though.
      Feb 14
    • Google fre t
      Yeah suuuure
      Feb 14
  • Google PgM1
    Doesnt sound like a SWE role, they dont travel that much, are you in Sales or deployment? 600k+ is pretty high for non-SWE though, so congrats on that.
    Feb 13 5
    • Oracle
      lalalalal

      Oracle

      PRE
      Google, Facebook, Instacart, Twitter, Uber, Air Asia, IBM, Cisco
      lalalalalmore
      He probably hand-delivers emergency bribes to corrupt officials in China. ;)
      Feb 13
    • Apple apbob
      OP
      Ha, no. Hardware related. Build some factories here already, please. If you have ever dealt with Chinese manufacturing you will understand why you have to watch the stuff like a hawk.

      But hey, you can only legally be in China 90 days a year before you can't go, so there is that.
      Feb 13
    • Magic Leap pipl
      I heard there’s not enough factory-related engineering talent to build factories here. The manufacturing labor class is super rusted and behind in skills; America’s powered by class inequality, immigrant scientists, H1B engineers, and finance bros
      Feb 14
    • Oracle / R&D lHEA77
      @OP aha, then go to China on vacation as much as possible to burn through the 90 days ;) Take the family with you too, it'll be fun!
      Feb 14
    • Not exactly true, you can exceed 90 days but then you (or actually your employer) will have to pay Chinese taxes on your US income. Actually the threshold is 183 days if you’re from a country that has a tax treaty with China, which the US does.
      Feb 14
  • Oracle
    lalalalal

    Oracle

    PRE
    Google, Facebook, Instacart, Twitter, Uber, Air Asia, IBM, Cisco
    lalalalalmore
    Why do you need to physically fly to China in order to fix some software issue? Sounds so 1998....
    Feb 13 2
    • Apple apbob
      OP
      Nobody said software, my friend.
      Feb 13
    • Apple julB03
      Indeed I think HW has it bad at Apple because of all the flights. I know plenty of wayyyy lower level / paid HW engineers who are going to Shenzhen all the time.
      Feb 14
  • Cisco hkkbfedvh
    Cry me a river....$625k....you better earn that shit
    Feb 14 0
  • Microsoft SmallTanks
    As someone who’s worked at Apple, Google, and now Microsoft that’s actually just Apple’s culture brah. Microsoft and Google are not like that at all.
    Feb 14 1
    • Google EndGam3
      ^This. I have seen people stay home or work from home for the exact reasons you said were not possible. So all you said is true but only for Apple. It's a sweatshop. Low pay more work pathetic WLB in summary
      Jul 20
  • Looks like everyone has problems. Person who makes $60k has problems, the person who makes $450k has problems. I used to be happier when I made nothing!! Just wondering how I can be happy again, making nothing!
    Feb 14 1
    • LinkedIn opfx46
      Its the rat race, always has been, just dressed up in modern day contexts
      Feb 15
  • Netflix vUhw26
    Not all faang jobs suck like yours
    Feb 14 2
    • Cisco ABGslayer
      Lmfao
      Feb 14
    • Apple apbob
      OP
      I don’t know, I’ve heard some horror stories from Netflix. Amazing comp but cutthroat environment. True?
      Feb 15