London is Crappy For Tech & Getting Wrong Advice
5 YOE - all data/analytics/BI roles in EMEA. TC lower than 80k GBP every year since I started.
First tech company I worked in the EMEA HQ, worked hard to get promoted, then was told non-eng roles wont get sponsored VISAs and I need a Masters for a US VISA. Left the company due to FAANG offer also after 2 years.
Moved to FAANG and started a part time Masters at a UK target in Software Engineering. Worked hard to upskill and move to a Data Engineering team only to see from the internal job board (and through networking) that for L5 roles SDEs will be sponsored with less than a handful of BIE/DE roles being sponsored. I see plenty of PHD Data Science roles being sponsored but I have no plans/desire for a PHD.
My current Data Engineering team is also more like DevOps actually and I’m likely to be PIPd in the next cycle. I tried constantly to learn Python on the side and pick up Python projects to improve but I’m not still fluent making recruiting hard now for external DE etc roles (my team is SQL only).
I feel super screwed and down about my career choices and how things panned out and dont feel ‘prepared’ for any path despite having this many years experience. I genuinly like working in tech, but working generally silo from a remote office kinda sucks, and roles/opportunties in the space I have skills in and a job that is decently paid seem scarce (I find many more suitable roles in the US with much better pay but I am stuck here).
I am due to complete the Masters in May next year, am still at the FAANG, and don’t know what to do now. I went into mild depression earlier this year and want to avoid this therefore am trying to come up with a plan so I can execute.
Options I thought of:
1) I can restart my career as SWE by preparing leetcode etc from now. There are no guarentees though on getting an offer, although comp should at least be better. Not sure Ill get interviews for SDE roles though after 5 years experience?
2) I can sell my soul to finance (really not keen on this option) or consulting (not keen on this either).
3) Look at startups / other companies looking for my skillset (there are several) locally and forget the desire to move to the US through FAANG. There are several DE roles at non-FAANG companies I can go to locally but it kinda feels like my career then dipped given where I am now. :(
4) Look at something like Product/Program management at tech firms (non-FAANG) and then move to FAANG London after getting some experience in the area (there seem to be PM roles here relative to DE/analytics).
I welcome any help and advice as I am truly lost.
[rant: i applied for a nice role, the hiring manager said i had the stronger CV for the role, but the roles are all being filled in NYC only now woth US citizens so i lost out. this has happened miltiple times before.]