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If I don’t like my work, when and how should I approach changing teams?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer [E3] at Meta3 months ago

I recently joined Meta as a junior engineer and my hope is to be able to try out several domains (guessing realistically 2) to see where my interest lies. I’m not on an AI team currently, but given the rise of AI, I hope to be able to explore that area.

However, I understand that switching teams will disrupt my productivity and growth as a junior engineer. I’m wondering:

  • When should I approach changing teams/domain? More specifically, is it better to change teams after being promoted to mid-level?
  • How should I approach changing teams?
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Discussion

(2 comments)
  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    3 months ago

    Meta makes team switches very weird for E3s and E4s due to up-or-out. This means you need to do one of the following:

    1. Switch ASAP - This is hard as the expectation is generally that you're in your current team for a year before pursuing a switch. At that point, you should have a lot of progress towards E4, and you would be throwing a lot of that away if you were to switch. Also, I imagine most Meta teams don't want an E3 in this climate.
    2. Get promoted to E4 and then switch ASAP - Many Meta E3s within the Taro community have gotten promoted to E4 within 1 year. I think this is the better path, and more teams are willing to take on an E4 instead of an E3. I'll make a course on this promotion later, but in the meantime, I recommend these:
      1. [Course] Nail Your Promotion As A Software Engineer
      2. [Course] Level Up Your Code Quality As A Software Engineer

    All that being said, if you truly, truly hate your work and it makes you miserable, talk to your manager and see if you can switch earlier. Maybe they can work out a middle-ground option where 80% of your time is spent on core roadmap work and 20% of your time is spent helping out a sister team in the AI/ML space or something.

    I want to reiterate that you should only pursue an immediate team switch if you indeed hate your work: If I were a manager and a fresh E3 came to me in their first 3 months asking for a team switch/stack pivot, I would be incredibly annoyed.

    In the meantime, you should take advantage of Meta's rich network of talented engineers internally and reach out to AI/ML engineers for coffee chats (offer to buy them Blue Bottle or something if you're in MPK) to learn more about how they came to be where they are today.

    Here's some more great advice around switching teams at Meta: "What's the best way to think about a team switch?"

  • 5
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    Senior Leadership @ Meta | Mentor | Coach | Tech Advisor
    3 months ago

    Generally you will need about a year after you join a team to be eligible for an internal move. In the first role / team you have the opportunity to ramp up and build good context of the tooling, languages, libraries and develop strengths in speicific areas.

    Transferable Skills

    While the actual technical work might not look so interesting, developing indepth domain knowledge withing your org, establishing strong relations with other engineers and XFNs, getting good grasp on how to navigate embiguous situations and structure your projects, all of these beahviours and skills are transferable.

    At this point your clock is already running, i.e. you have about 24 months to progress from IC3 to IC4 and if you switch a team and you are in the same position that could cause just more headaches and make things tougher.

    Seek Mentorship

    One strong advise here, find mentors both inside and outside of the team. Use the person inside to help you with ramping up faster, grow your scope and deliver results that will support your promotion.

    With the external mentor try to focus more on the soft skills. This could be structuring and organising your projects, defining success criteria, communication, etc. That's a person that may not have much context on your current technical and problem space, but they can help with all other general groweth areas. Look for someone that has grown from IC3 to IC4+ internally this is great way to learm from the experience of another person.

    Finding a mentor with the right experience aligned to your long term goals is also important. If you'd like to move to AI/ML space, speak to someone that has done similar transition. It's highly likely that the skills you can develop in your current role both soft skills and technical will be required in the new AI space.

Meta Platforms, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate based in Menlo Park, California. The company owns 3 of top 4 social networks in the world: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. More than 3.5 billion people use at least one of the company's core products every month.
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