Not working in SFO/SEA/NYC: Is this career suicide?

New ijhg
Nov 25, 2018 51 Comments

So obviously I did not get a FAANG level job offer which is why I'm not moving into SFO/SEA/NYC.

My job offer is in a suburban city (population 100k-1mil) in the Midwest/Southwest. TC $190k for Senior ML Scientist position for Fortune 500 company, but not a tech company. Cannot reveal more details than that. I do have other offers in SFO/SEA/NYC, but TC is not even close to $190k.

I want to get into FAANG level companies eventually, and will go out on market in 6-12mths. Is this move career suicide?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 51 Comments
  • Target / Eng .¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    If your career aspirations are to join FAANG level companies then you’ll need to continue to push to get into sector. It depends on motivations, really.

    190k in Midwest is a hell of a lot of money. Why would you move on from that? That’s probably equivalent to 300k+ in SFO/Seattle/NYC.
    Nov 25, 2018 7
    • Salesforce pmyz88
      House in Bay Area in good school district is $2.5M min and frankly you get something crappy for that .. also your 500K will put you in high tax bracket and CA state taxes are double most states.. finally cost for everything is super high so may be $500K is a bit high but not that much ..
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Facebook oJvA68
      They have houses outside of PA. Got a sweet house for 1.3M.

      And boohoo you have to pay a bunch of taxes if you earn a lot.

      500K is still a lot if you’re not stupid with your money.
      Nov 26, 2018
  • Microsoft Yoauow
    Do the needful
    Nov 25, 2018 1
    • New ijhg
      OP
      Needful???
      Nov 25, 2018
  • Airbnb Pomax
    You are too fixated on FAANG. Due to CoL differences you are way better off with this job than the vast majority of people in FAANG. Your quality of life will be dramatically higher too. Take it and don’t look back.
    Nov 25, 2018 4
    • New ijhg
      OP
      @Amazon I see that you have thought it through, and we prob have diff assumptions. I am a lifelong renter, so property taxes are baked into rental price. I don't like spending money and at most I spent $800/my on non rental expenses. No state tax favors the rich who don't spend. Also moving from 24% to 32% tax bracket while not good is offset by lack of FICA taxes. I've done the projection and effective tax rate is relatively flat from $100k to $500k.

      But you are right that there may cognitive biases. Getting into FAANG means that I have 'won' the game and I will never be satisfied until I do. A new gig can provide temporary relief for 1-2 yrs, but the urge will never go away.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Amazon / Mgmt KYuG83
      Then this isn’t about avoiding career suicide, or financial independence or wealth or quality of life. This is about prestige, esteem, and preference. And those are highly motivating and valid reasons.

      I think you should absolutely try for it because it sounds like it will make you very happy. If you need a referral you can even DM me. It isn’t career suicide if you do not join FAANG, but if it makes you happy and fulfilled, and that is the reason why, then you should make it a goal.
      Nov 25, 2018
  • I’d also say, the concern you should have is actually liking the Midwest area you move to! You might settle down and miss the hassles a city brings. You might like your job, company, co-workers, and the allure of FAANG might fade. I know, first world problems, right?
    Nov 25, 2018 6
    • Target / Eng .¯\_(ツ)_/¯
      OP you’re too hung up on numbers. You can be very well off with your TC in the Midwest and never have to worry about being able to afford a nice home. Move to any of your three preferred cities and 300k is peanuts to what you make now.

      If your sole motivation is money then yes, work towards FAANG. If your motivation is happiness, WLB and living comfortably then stay where you are.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Amazon AIV
      300k in Seattle is not that much more than 190k in Midwest @ijhg.

      NYC or SFO? Forget about it. At 190k in Midwest you’re way above a 300k TC in those locations.

      I’m not saying don’t go to those places. I’m saying right now just slay at your VERY cool well paying job and after you’ve built a resume of accomplishments you’re really proud of, write your own story and then take a high paying high ranking job at FAANG or wherever.

      From a pure COL standpoint though I recommend sticking to Seattle or LA. SFO and NYC are just absurdly over priced so only go there if you have some dream of living in those places. You seem to care more about money though.
      Nov 25, 2018
  • I’m not sure where you are in your career, but since advice on this app is free, you can take mine or leave it! ‘Senior ML Scientist position for Fortune 500’ is a good position that should let you do good work and allow you to write your own story. It’s a hot skill, people will come knocking on your door in time. Just focus on knocking it out of the park. Location is not a career killer, in fact, willingness to relocate is seen positively, in general.
    Nov 25, 2018 0
  • IBM / Finance tricia
    Take the midwest job, don't be fixated on FAANG.
    Nov 25, 2018 6
    • IBM / Finance tricia
      I live in one of the Western Suburbs of Chicago. I agree weather is not something so great, but I was born and bred over here and the this "game of thrones" style winter is something I am used to. I know people who came from other warmer place but in a year or two they get used to the same
      Nov 25, 2018
    • New ijhg
      OP
      No offense to IBMers and others who replied. If you were in FAANG and envy the midwest/southeast offer your opinions don't carry much weight. I agree with you though, in that I want to get into FAANG and retire elsewhere. I'm not in FAANG yet, so that is a problem.
      Nov 25, 2018
  • Amazon VpYJ78
    If you want to work at a FANG one day more experience is always good until you're over 40, and then its situational. Work there for 2 years then apply wherever -- the only career suicide in tech is working at Oracle.
    Nov 25, 2018 2
  • Google amzng123
    It's not suicide, but it will certainly make your move to faang much more difficult. You are working for a non tech company and you are working in a non tech location.

    Take the lower TC and move to a nimble VC backed startup in a tech hotbed. Makes your next move much easier.
    Nov 25, 2018 2
    • New ijhg
      OP
      You think it would be easier to transition into FAANG by settling for a mid tier startup (not unicorn) in SFO/SEA/NYC? Because that's prob the best alternative I can get.

      FYI my background was working in R&D but also not in tech and I am aware of the bias that tech has against people like me, and it's really frustrating and difficult to break through.
      Nov 25, 2018
    • Google amzng123
      Yes, I think mid tier startup is better in one of those three cities is better than a non tech F500 in midwest if your next step is FAANG. The chance of you using a solid tech stack is higher.
      Nov 25, 2018
  • Remember, big market/small fish big Vs. Big fish/small(or less attractive) market. Imagine if you’re THE data guy at a company that doesn’t have tech focus and you’re able to solve real problems, versus you’re simply one of 1000 others in a company trying to label Hot Dog or Not Hot Dog
    Nov 25, 2018 1
    • New ijhg
      OP
      I am already big fish in small pond in my current company and I don't like it. I rather be small fish in big ocean.
      Nov 25, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng RedishCard
    Most (if not all) FANG companies won't ask for your previous compensation, experience is experience is experience. If you go, have impact, and come out a stronger candidate then you have nothing to worry about. However, if you go and coast your chances will be worse.
    Nov 25, 2018 1
    • Spotify KXAo87
      GOOG won't even match current comp, you have to use it to get an offer at FB and have GOOG compete against that
      Nov 25, 2018

Salary
Comparison

    Real time salary information from verified employees