Career options for long time google engineer?

Mar 1, 2019 141 Comments

I am a long time senior level Google engineer/ manager with a TC I am very happy with (600K annual, stock vesting being a significant portion of it). I am just no longer enjoying the work I do and as the company has grown, having to deal with the politics just wears me down. I'd rather have more technical work occupy my days. A bit of a golden handcuff situation.

I understand my TC is on the higher end, hence the questions: Are there companies in the bay area that would match my compensation from the start? Match my unvested stocks? I am looking for a fresh start but don't want to lose compensation significantly. Or is transferring within the company my only option? Please advise.

P.s. Not interested in starting or working in startups. I don't have the energy for that.


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TOP 141 Comments
  • Twitter RealJack
    To be honest at that comp you have to deal with politics no matter where you go. All large companies will have good and bad teams. Hope you find right place
    Mar 1, 2019 2
    • JOANY / Eng FQuQ40
      Tbh, what's the problem? Read the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and pursue your dreams on the side. With $600K per year, you can do almost anything in the world. If you're not happy with your current situation, you're making the money to turn whatever dreams you have into a reality. Take the money. Start pursuing that, and even if work isn't satisfying, it'll be a means to an end that you're getting where you want to be in life.

      I think switching to another company for the same thing is like being the famously ennui protagonists in a Steinbeck novel, going from place to place, trying to find happiness, only to find the problem isn't your environment, it's within.
      Mar 3, 2019
    • Primer AI / Eng

      Primer AI Eng

      Two time CTO with experience bringing SaaS to market. Can provide career advice.
      Wow. Really great.
      Mar 4, 2019
  • Google wqIe83
    Why don't you move to an IC role at same level? More tech work, similar comp. You might have a rough year, you should be fine after that. Is that not an option?
    Mar 1, 2019 15
    • New yee
      Ironically explaining the role of an individual contributor takes a village
      Mar 5, 2019
    • Splunk KE94107
      Mar 5, 2019
  • Palo Alto Networks / Eng

    Palo Alto Networks Eng

    If you are L6+ at Google, and your skillset aligns with what we're looking for, and there's good rapport in the interviews, then I think Palo alto networks should be able to match that. Shoot me a DM if you want a referral.
    Mar 1, 2019 5
    • New / Eng lzf66
      Now you know the culture at PAN.
      Mar 3, 2019
    • Apple / Eng \_(>_<)_/
      I think he said IF (L6+ && skill alignment). Apparently he is looking for both criteria to make a good referral case.
      Mar 3, 2019
  • PayPal TJFa61
    "I want to still make a lot of money but don't want to deal with politics and don't want to work that hard at starting my own thing." Do I have the paraphrasing right? Lol. Retire. Take up fishing.
    Mar 3, 2019 0
  • Facebook cncY80
    FB E7/IC7 will get close to this in the bay area. There is some politics, but not nearly as much as Google (I speak from experience).
    I'm so much happier here, there is a ton of really hard technical work to do and at this level you're really expected to focus on that and not have to deal with bullshit.

    Happy to chat more privately if you want details.
    Mar 3, 2019 8
    • Facebook uuwsjsnw
      Mar 3, 2019
    • Facebook cncY80
      Yeah I really have to wonder where that is
      At 7+ the pool is very limited and we go out of our way to avoid politics.
      Sure at 6 it does still happen a bit but that is no different than anywhere else.

      If you're getting a lot of push back, maybe you need to ask yourself why. I'm not saying the problem is you, but maybe it's not entirely the 6s and 7s you're dealing with.

      Also, Amazon: working to make Jeff richer while destroying their workforce. Well done.
      Mar 4, 2019
  • Google EGC
    I'm slightly more junior but am finding myself in a similar situation... I'm pretty sure if you leave Google, you will take a major step back in TC. Most companies outside of FANG won't pay nearly as well (30-50% pay cut). Most companies in FANG deal with the same political warfare. The two options I've landed on is either having to step up in responsibility outside of Google (e.g. CTO) or transfer teams within Google.
    Mar 1, 2019 3
    • Zillow Group / Eng anKW36
      Unicorns, usually pay on par/better than FANG, but obviously it’s mostly in paper money. So that in itself is a trade off.
      Mar 3, 2019
    • Indeed / Eng on 🔥
      IDK why you thing of a pay cut. In my experience every tier 2 or 3 company is paying same or more money for l6+ engineers from Google
      Mar 3, 2019
  • Come to Lyft. Keep your pay and skip the politics mostly*, obviously depends on the team.
    Mar 1, 2019 2
    • Lyft marvinx
      No politics? You must be kidding. Lyft is a shitshow
      Mar 3, 2019
    • Facebook hphpd
      Mar 4, 2019
  • Amazon Cynimist
    Amazon can meet that with a Principal Engineer (Amazon L7) offer in the Bay Area. LinkedIn Sr. Staff. FB E7 definitely, not sure about E6. Lyft L7 definitely, Uber L6 should also get you there. So lots of options. Stick with IC roles if you hate politics.
    Mar 3, 2019 6
    • Facebook / Eng pookyh
      One data point: FB E6 with a single DE moves to >650.
      Mar 4, 2019
    • Facebook


      Live a simple life
      FB e6 can be over 600k. You still have to deal with politics at that level.
      Mar 5, 2019
  • Amazon bayyyzoes
    Hooli is hiring at double L6 with an FB+ TT signing bonus that vest retroactively to birth. FAANG multipliers apply to RSU refreshers.
    Mar 3, 2019 9
    • Amazon bayyyzoes
      Hooli is working on that problem. They’re hiring like crazy. 400 TC for new grads.
      Mar 4, 2019
    • VMware BobbleHat
      This could change the internet as we know it. Super competitive space now.
      Mar 4, 2019
  • Oracle now@google
    Move to a different team or rest and vest. In other big companies you will have more politics, but also nepotism and incompetence to deal with.
    Mar 1, 2019 0


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