Should I take a low level role (in or out of tech) while looking for high level? Would this hurt me?
Hi Blinders. Happy new year! Hoping I can get some of your wisdom & insight.
Spent past 7+ years in startups abroad as a passion project founder, a co-founder at another startup & a Director PM role at another. (not in that order) Returning to the US after recently attending a few events and seeing what I'm missing out on like fat TC, compounding benefits amazing training resources, etc, overall I miss home.
I'm drawn to building and shipping products so PM & PMM have been my main responsibilities, leading teams and negotiating. I don't really like to code learned basic coding on the side. (Solely so I could be more in tune with my dev team needs, their insights. Helped us have optimal communication in getting ideas/tasks mapped out. Deliverables got knocked out as efficiently as possible with a happy team to boot).
So I'm looking at Sr Product management roles or higher. That's where I think I'll be a fit & be happiest. Not sure if I should shoot for Director PM roles or not. I think my job search may take some time since my current US network is not as strong.
Here's the dilemma, my liquid financial reserves are super low now (bootstrapped & illiquid equity & family).
When I hit the ground in the US, should I just take any gig (even if its not in tech and much lower paying). Contemplating doing this while I get re-established, to have some income coming in, while I job search. Expect to stay at this 'gig' until I land a suitable role with my actual experience level.
Or do you think taking that 'gig' hurt my higher level job search & hurt negotiations?
The do-whatever-it-takes to get to next goal, bootstrap scrappy founder mentality in me says take a gig. But, I think my distance away from the US job market (yrs) and from the typical US corporate level career progression track, has skewed how I think large companies & the hiring managers & recruiters may view this.
Would taking a 'whatever gig with basic benefits' now hurt me in my higher level tech job search & salary negotiations?
How would I explain this decision to companies/recruiters? Do these type of gig type jobs get listed on more senior experience resume?
Should that lower level interim gig be in tech or is it better to pick a non-tech type gig? (see next part for reasoning)
I feel like if I take a quick, easier-to-get lower level tech role, that isn't what I'm looking for long-term to get me back on track, I feel like that would:
1) be leaving a tech company in the lurch, when I just came back from abroad
2) and also a lower exp tech role could hurt me because they might say 'you accepted a tech role at this low level, why would we pay you double TC or triple TC for a higher level role?'
Or would they potentially say why didn't you take any tech role to get your foot back in the door at a tech company?
How do large established tech companies, faang and otherwise, look at entrepreneurial tech founders coming back into the corporate level workforce?
I'm simply not sure how this would be viewed.
Would appreciate insight from people whom may have been in similar situations or have hiring experience or have had people join their team or have seen management accomplish something similar. Any advice on how to address it at interviews would be great.
YOE 15+ in 2 industries
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