Is it worth sticking to Amazon with the way they reward you for your performance?

Apr 15, 2018 15 Comments

Been with the company for 4+ years and it's getting worse each year I extend with the company. With the stock price fluctuations these days, I'm not sure if it would be rewarding to stay any longer for such competitively low TC.

I just got promoted to L6 after my stint in the TPM role for 2 years (was an SDE before) and only got 20 stocks that vests in 2020 along with the standard 10% rise. Forward looking TC for 2018 is only $210K for a L6, which I feel is much lower than our competitors. Google and FB seems to pay at least 300K for an L6 TPM along with yearly stock refreshes and bonuses.

In order to progress in my career, I would like to take the SDM role as a next step using the experience I gained so far in engineering and management roles. It may take a year or so to get there if I stay with Amazon.

The biggest dilemma is to whether stick with the Amazon for such low TC for the sake of career progression OR walkout & boomerang to Amazon with a higher comp in a year and climb up the ladder to SDM. This means I would give up my sparingly low stocks which would get vested in next 2 years and 401K company contributions.

From many blind posts, I feel that its it's pretty tough to get into SDM roles outside of Amazon in FAANG companies or equivalents. So, I am thinking of coming back to Amazon to climb up the career ladder.

Should I stay or leave? Appreciate any advise on next step you would take if you were in my shoes.

If you recommend to stay, I appreciate if you could share the reasoning behind it.



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TOP 15 Comments
  • LinkedIn joep
    Join a company who values their employees.
    Apr 15, 2018 0
  • BlackBerry / Mgmt JohnChen👨
    They have long stayed true to the Frugality principle. Funny how people forget that
    Apr 15, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng n0v
    AMZN stock is going to hit law of large numbers sooner or later. At $2100, AMZN will be a trillion dollar company and we aren't going to see 20% yoy growth on such a huge base. Probably we will slow even before getting to $2100, and potential recession from Trump's incompetence could set a pull back in growth even sooner. Point is, don't assume continued stock growth like we've seen in last few years. Amazon may adjust their compensation model at that time, but probably only after attrition numbers shoot up.
    Apr 15, 2018 0
  • It seems like you've gotten anchored to a much lower salary than you would receive as a new hire or what you would get if you left for a competitor.
    Apr 15, 2018 0
  • Amazon Airprime
    Thank you for all the responses so far. It is clearly evident from the responses that I should rather leave and join a company that values their employees and pays better.

    What payscale should I expect from other companies in Seattle assuming I get some competing offers? Is $300K an average for L6 Amazonian? I am sure they will down level you most of the times but I'm fine with that as long as I'm getting a pay hike, as it gives me an opportunity to grow in other companies
    Apr 15, 2018 2
    • Yes, definitely 300K+ total comp per year. Amazon has been lowballing you.
      Apr 15, 2018
    • LinkedIn / Eng

      LinkedIn Eng

      Amazon, IBM
      ^^ He’s not talking about SDE but TPM. IMO become a dev mgr in Amzn before moving out. 300k + in a non-eng role is stretching it for L6
      Apr 15, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng Amazonieer
    At the end of the day its all about what you are making. You can easily join a company as a lead with defined path to SDM. Amazon its all depend on your Manager to transition you to SDM from TPM role. You could have transition easily as SDM from
    SR SDE but its not easy from TPM. Not worth to stay when you are undervalued.
    Apr 15, 2018 2
    • Amazon / Eng Best_Jeff
      Op went sde2 -> tpm2 -> tpm3 so Sde3 -> SDM3 was not an option.
      Apr 15, 2018
    • Amazon Airprime
      I think tpm3 to Sdm3 may still be an option in certain teams given the engineering background I have. I'm just saying that it is still possible but I may not take it at the moment.
      Apr 15, 2018
  • Cisco yube
    Is Sdm3 paid higher than sde3?
    Apr 16, 2018 2
    • Amazon CHbV52
      Yes, mostly.
      Apr 16, 2018
    • Amazon / Mgmt yougotit
      Yes, the range for sdm is higher.
      Apr 17, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng sadTT
    Just an FYI Google L5 == Amazon L6. So, would not recommend comparing with their L6.
    Apr 17, 2018 0
  • BlackBerry / Mgmt JohnChen👨
    Ask for at-least 10% more than what Amazon was paying you
    Apr 15, 2018 0


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