Amazon Austin exit ideas?

Dec 9, 2019 18 Comments

L5 SDE at Amazon in Austin. Rapidly approaching the 4 year cliff with a significant drop in TC coming. L6 promo probably needs 1-1.5 more years. This is largely due to a reset from org switching, as well as, a lack of desire to compete with my strongly type A peers.

I'm thinking that moving on might be preferable to the L6 promo grind under the cliff year's much lower TC.

My considerations:
- Ideally stay near 275K TC in Austin. Not greedy for additional TC, just want to keep it from dropping
- Would like to avoid environments with strongly type A peers, alternatively have a management who can keep them on a leash
- WLB. Preferably no or minimal on-call (would be a blessing)
- Median team culture friendly. Many of the teams I've seen at Amazon are frigid cold during the day-to-day

Some ideas I've been thinking about:
- Apply to Google in MV (have referral source), work there for a year to build a network, transfer to the Austin office after. The hope is that a top of band L4 offer when adjusted for Austin COL will still be around 275K+ TC.
- Do a 1-2 year stint at some other FAANG or comparable in the Bay, then boomerang back to Amazon in Austin (clearing L6 interview). Not so sure about this given my other considerations about social/WLB/on-call.
- Apply for L3 at Indeed in Austin. I'm not sure if they could match 275K though. Levels.fyi gives some strange data points
- Either way final destination should be Austin

Thoughts or alternative ideas?

YOE: 9.5
TC: 272K

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TOP 18 Comments
  • Google m6r4
    Is $275k only because of the backloaded RSU grant? You can definitely get above $250k at Google Austin L4, maybe up to $275 but I think it would take another offer. The MTV move makes sense if you want the do that for life reasons, but I don't think it would do much for you in Austin TBH. The only advantage of the Bay for negotiating salary is that it's a bit easier to find nice competing offers.

    Level at L5 and you would be good no matter what I think. Indeed L3 can probably do that also if the LTIP pays out as they claim it would.

    In general look at companies based in the Bay Area or Seattle. Austin based companies outside of maybe Indeed will balk at that TC.
    Dec 9, 2019 2
    • Amazon TyKs78
      OP
      Yes, only due to the backloading and price gains. First year TC was much less than the last 2 years.

      Appreciate the thoughts shared.
      Dec 9, 2019
    • Google m6r4
      Ok, that makes sense. Well you should definitely apply to Google. You are probably borderline in terms of L4 vs L5, but even at L4 you would get a really nice TC, if not quite $275k. Google has better benefits and probably WLB than Amazon, as well. I'd just be sure to ask the recruiter for the L5 interview track.

      Then I'd reach out to pretty much every other Bay Area/Seattle based company to try to get the bidding war going. (Apple, FB, Dropbox, Tableau, maybe Roku?) Plus indeed and maybe Citadel? There are probably others that I'm not thinking of.

      Of course if you relocate to the Bay that's another story! Infinite number of places to apply to over there.
      Dec 9, 2019
  • Are you not getting any yearly performance RSU refreshers that have the 2 year vest?
    Dec 9, 2019 2
    • Amazon TyKs78
      OP
      Yes, but it's low. Compared to the initial offer's backloaded vest in the 4th year (including lots of stock appreciation), the refresher RSUs come with a flat stock and a significant cliff year.
      Dec 9, 2019
    • How much lower would your TC be after the 4th year with your current performance RSUs added?
      Dec 9, 2019
  • Indeed ghjf
    275k after the cliff or before the cliff?
    Dec 9, 2019 2
    • Amazon TyKs78
      OP
      Before
      Dec 9, 2019
    • Indeed ghjf
      So how much after the cliff? Amazon doesn’t have refreshers?
      Dec 9, 2019
  • Cisco depcis
    Apple in Austin ?
    Dec 9, 2019 2
    • Amazon TyKs78
      OP
      How are they on SDE on-call, WLB, team social? I don't currently know anyone there. TC-wise that sounds like a good option to look into though.
      Dec 9, 2019
    • Cisco depcis
      Don’t have idea about their on call but it wouldn’t be as bad as Amazon is what I assume. But 80% of SE teams in Austin are IS&T you should be careful about Choosing them.
      Dec 9, 2019
  • Amazon bMrd67
    How good are your interview skills?
    Dec 9, 2019 1
    • Amazon TyKs78
      OP
      They'll need refreshing ofc, but overall I'm good in that area (LC and all).
      Dec 9, 2019
  • Amazon fnei3863
    Why not just applying for Google Austin directly?
    Dec 9, 2019 1
    • Amazon TyKs78
      OP
      That may be a better idea. My thoughts were a) likely vastly limited opportunities at this point, b) I would actually be OK with 1 year in the Bay to get to know people at the mothership in person. A bit of adventure. I just don't want to live there long term.
      Dec 9, 2019
  • Google gbye
    Apple.
    2d 0
  • Google
    kielbasa

    Google

    PRE
    Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft
    kielbasamore
    Man, you must feel rich in Austin with that TC.
    Dec 9, 2019 0

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