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Will moving to Austin TX from Bay Area hurt my career?

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Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta9 months ago

I am currently living in the Bay Area and considering moving to Austin, TX for personal reasons (affordability, family, friends etc). I have an option to go fully remote and work on the same team. My team's current setup is a few folks are in East coast, a few in the Bay Area and some of them are remote. So, I don't really see a whole lot of benefit going to the office regularly. Plus, I started during the COVID- WFH time in 2020 and did very well working remote, so I (or my manager) don't have a problem with productivity as well.

That said, I do have a fear that my career growth might be affected if I move out of the Bay Area, especially if I want to find a FAANG equivalent role or startups in Austin. Recent RTO mandates by multiple companies are also making me nervous about long term future of remote work. What are your thoughts on making this move for personal reasons and availability of great roles with remote option or in Austin? Thanks!

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    9 months ago

    In short, I think your decision to move to Austin is 100% the right call. Family and friends come first!

    Expanding on this, "hurt" is a strong word - It implies that your career will go downward from here, which I very much don't think will be the case:

    1. Being a well-performing Meta E5 is very hard. It will translate to Staff+ at most other companies, and being a senior engineer at a FAANG company gives you a massive edge in hiring decisions.
    2. Your team is already distributed anyways, so being in-office has minimal gains.
    3. Austin is still a major metro region in the US, and it's growing fast.

    That being said, it's undeniable that the Silicon Valley is the epicenter of the software industry. I don't think your career will be hurt; it's just that your ceiling will be lower due to less job opportunities and organic networking avenues. But can this be overcome? Absolutely. Will you be in a good position in Austin to do so? Almost certainly.

    Here's some other great threads about location and career opportunity: