Would you trade you're job for a lower paying remote job (hypothetical)

Noble Software Group / Design jesse
Jul 11, 2017 52 Comments

I’m currently the sole UX designer at a small (about 10 team members) 100% remote company. I’m thinking of trying to make the jump to Microsoft or Amazon. To help make the decision I wanted to describe what it’s like working here, and see how many UX designers at Microsoft or Amazon would want to swap jobs (hypothetically of course).

My company makes a web-based product that probation officers around the country use to assess the risks and needs of offenders (mostly juveniles), and create a treatment plan with them, rather then sending them to jail (as long as they are not high-risk).

The company is based out of Redding, Ca. I started with them 2.5 years ago while I was living there. I moved to Seattle a year ago (I’m originally from Washington) as a potential career move, and to move closer to family.

Like I said I work remotely. I usually work from home (North Seattle), though sometimes I work from coffee shops. I’ve also been able to travel to Europe and Africa while working. While I tend to work a traditional 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday schedule along with the rest of my team, I’m able to set my own hours. That means if I need to run an errand, I can go when there’s little traffic. Or I can pop out mid-day to take my 2 year old son to the park. My company just wants us to finish our sprints. Speaking of my son, I’m always here with him. On my breaks (I do the pomodoro technique) I can play with him. It’s awesome. I never miss a thing.

Oh, I also have unlimited PTO. I also never have to ask for it. I tell them when I’m taking off.

Sounds like a dream so far, right?

I’m paid $77k/yr. The last two Christmas’s I received a $1000 bonus. That’s it. That’s my compensation.

So, would any UXers at Microsoft or Amazon swap jobs with me. Why or why not?


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TOP 52 Comments
  • Microsoft / Eng

    Microsoft Eng

    HP Inc
    Just a great guy 💁🏽‍♂️. PM me for details
    Would you sell bacon to travellers while naked standing on the sidewalk in front of Pike Place Market
    Jul 11, 2017 3
    • Microsoft / Eng Skyped
      If he's naked, shouldn't he be selling sausage?
      Jul 11, 2017
    • Noble Software Group / Design jesse
      bacon wrapped sausage
      Jul 11, 2017
  • Microsoft / Eng Hanky Pank
    I would consider it if I could live in developing countries - in Eastern Europe or Colombia that would be amazing comp. But when I have a family and need to stay in one first-world spot, it doesn't make sense.

    Why not apply and see if the comp difference is enough to convince you?
    Jul 11, 2017 4
    • Noble Software Group / Design jesse
      So what you're saying is I've got nothing to lose by applying. Defer making a decision once there's an offer on the table.
      Jul 11, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng Hanky Pank
      Yep. Your conception of what it's like there will be totally different from reality.
      Jul 11, 2017
  • Microsoft / Eng Skyped
    The upside is that when you work with really good people, you learn a lot.

    The downside is that the "corporate world" is going to be a huge shock and mostly not in a good way.

    Add in the commute time and hassle and it's not necessarily better.

    Like someone else said, you have nothing to lose by interviewing. Make sure to ask lots of questions about the work and the environment.

    Would I take a 50% pay cut for your deal? In a heartbeat. But I'm near the end of my career and my kids are almost out of college.

    It is super cool to be able to point at a big public site and say "I did that". Many of us have been solving huge user base issues for so long, but it's super cool when someone asks what you do and you send them to the site / app.

    Whatever you decide, some level of "buyer's remorse" is normal. Push through it.

    Good luck.
    Jul 11, 2017 1
    • Noble Software Group / Design jesse
      That's a really good response. Thanks so much.
      Jul 11, 2017
  • Amazon oGPoop
    It depends on the Team. I used to work at a agency and it was refreshing working in new projects etc. sad part was the impact.

    So I came to Amazon and it's a mixed bag. When I first got here, it was 150 engineers to 1 UI/UX. Absolute chaos.

    But you'd be bringing in much more than $77k here, depending on your level.

    What do you specialize in?
    Jul 11, 2017 3
    • New / Design SamStanley
      I feel like one man Ux teams tend to make less than when there are two or more team members... it's been my experience anyway.
      Jul 26, 2017
    • You could easily specialize in what you most enjoy and make significantly more.
      Sep 15, 2017
  • LinkedIn / Design

    LinkedIn Design

    500 Startups, Symantec
    Blind Designer. Not literally
    I wouldn't swap jobs with you based on the following thing.
    1. Compensation, compensation, compensation. Pretty low to live the life am living in Bay Area. I'd take it up if i was being paid the same outside of US in a developing country.
    2. No team interaction. I learn a lot from co-designers and the team spirit and culture gets me into work on a Monday morning. I have been a solo designer (not remote though, but WFH 2-3 days a week was okay) in my previous jobs, and I missed the team bonding on that front. Though the flexibility to get my laundry and cooking done during work hours was great.
    3. Contracting doesn't get me excited about the product. Need to have a bigger piece of the pie in design strategy to get me out of my bed and keep being a designer.

    Makes sense?
    Jul 11, 2017 1
    • Noble Software Group / Design jesse
      yeah makes sense. although I want to be clear that although I'm technically a contractor, I have major say in the product. the company is so small they don't want to bother with setting it up to have actual employees, so that's why I'm a contractor. Been with them 2.5 years now. But Im definitely picking up what you're putting down.
      Jul 11, 2017
  • Microsoft rawr44
    Hmmm move to Asia and you'd feel soooo rich
    Jul 11, 2017 0
  • Facebook anooonfb
    I dunno, I like coming into the office and I like the stimulation I get in San Francisco.

    The most ideal situation would be frequent first class trips to Europe for short projects and free weekends.

    Jul 11, 2017 0
  • Microsoft realguru
    Be smart. Start outsourcing at micro level. Hire some one in India or where ever pay them $300-$500 and let them do your jobs. Meantime find another remote job. BTW you will be GOD to outsource person
    Jul 13, 2017 6
    • New haPT60
      That only applies when you work for a moron.
      Jul 13, 2017
    • Microsoft realguru
      You want to be smarter than your boss and make him depended. Now you can leverage all you can. Unlimited vac, good bonus for couple of years then make a move up
      Jul 14, 2017
  • Microsoft / Design 🚶Wanderer
    I wouldn't solely based on:
    a) compensation
    b) contract gig (not a fan)
    c) product is niche
    Jul 11, 2017 3
    • Microsoft clippy
      Sounds like you already have your mind made up and you just want to talk about your job
      Jul 12, 2017
    • Noble Software Group / Design jesse
      Just giving a counter argument. I have made up my mind though. I'm moving on... going for bigger and better.
      Jul 12, 2017
  • Cisco / Design borat
    Come work for Cisco. A large portion of our company works 100% remote - designers included.
    Jul 24, 2017 1
    • Ticketmaster / Design uxatwork
      I see that a Cisco team in CA is hiring. Do you mind sharing the salary range for senior UX designers? What is the culture like?
      Jul 25, 2017


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