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Advice on PIP with unsupportive team?

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Anonymous User at Taro Community8 months ago

I need some advice on how to navigate my situation. I have recently joined a staff engineer role and its has been 2 months. My manager mentioned today that I would be put under PIP. He mentioned that there is gap in the expectations.

To give a context, I am the only one person here and everyone else including manager (who is a director) are in different country (in europe), completely different time zone and it has been every hard to get any time from them to discuss anything. I have been left out of important meetings because of the time zone. Now, I am working alone here on a new project independent from others. When I created PRs, they were stuck for ever (sometimes a week or so). I posted in multiple channels, etc. Even sync meeting with team mates sometimes were cancelled because of they were busy and it has been hard. I have raised this with manager but nothing changed. For onboarding, I didn't have a buddy to begin with and manager was my buddy.

I am supposed to talk with HR tomorrow and discuss my options. PIP or mutual termination. I am not sure what should I ask HR and what should I do? Any advice would be greatly helpful.

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(2 comments)
  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    8 months ago

    I'm really sorry to hear this - It seems like they just set you up to fail. As with most PIP situations, I'm very skeptical that the PIP path will play out well.

    Given the poor economic climate, I would actually stretch this out to 3 options:

    1. Take the PIP and fight hard to survive
    2. Take the PIP but don't seriously try - It's just a ploy to extend your employment period
    3. Just take the mutual termination

    #2 being an option depends on your investigation into #1 and #3.

    For the PIP, I would find out:

    1. What's the time scale?
    2. What would the exact expectations be?
      1. What projects need to be delivered?
      2. What behavior needs to be demonstrated?
      3. How can all this be measured?
    3. What extra support would you have to complete the PIP?
      1. Would you and your manager escalate to daily 1 on 1s or is it just "sink or swim"?

    For the mutual termination, some questions to ask are:

    1. Is there some sort of severance package attached? I know that Amazon does this when they present this option.
    2. If #1 is true, would you be able to stay on payroll longer? This is very relevant if you're on a visa.

    Make it your goal to get answers to these when talking with HR tomorrow.

    Also, slow PR review is one of the most common sources of engineering productivity death. If you see yourself in this cycle, you must aggressively escalate: I remember that my PRs were being reviewed very slowly back when I was at Course as their first and only Android engineer - After a few weeks of frustration, the team and I agreed that I can just merge and push to prod directly. Maybe you can do the same given your situation?

    Here's some other resources about PIP as well:

  • 3
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    Tech Lead, Senior Software Engineer [L5] at Google
    8 months ago

    This sound like a situation where the fit is poor from both sides. Unless your manager is able to provide a dramatically different environment (unlikely) when you discuss potential PIP recovery path w/ him, I think there's little chance you will clear the PIP.

    If you don't have immigration or other dependencies requiring you to hold a job, cutting your losses here would be the way I would go. Depending on where you work, HR likely will offer you a severance package if you choose mutual termination (and I would ask for a package if they don't offer it initially).

    You might not need this, but maybe Alex and Rahul's tips on finding teams that fit you could help you as well!