Taro Logo

FAANG Contracting. Is it worth it?

Profile picture
Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Communitya month ago

Some context, last July after getting laid off I started searching for new work with a particular focus on FAANG.

I garner traction with a few companies but am elated when hear from a FAANG head hunter.

I passed the first interview. Scheduled the second and it wasn’t until the confirmation email of the second interview that I saw “Contract”. I was greatly disheartened though I figured I might as well go through the interview process and decide after I’ve lined up all my options. And after talking to the hiring manager I was promised a chance to convert the contract is up.

It was a hard decision, but ultimately I passed up on a well paying senior role at smaller company to take a stab at FAANG.

And I loved it. The engineers I work with are brilliant, the products impacting orders of magnitude more clients than I ever have before and I'm learning.

However, after shipping our first project, the hiring manager that brought me on board switched teams. The projects I've been reassigned to have been largely tech debt and non technical. I have had no direct manager for 4 months with no new one stepping in in the foreseeable future. While conversion is supposedly still on the table, there is no one tracking my contributions and there is a new stipulation of “if the market permits” tacked on top, meaning they have an excuse to prolong the contract rather than give a chance to convert.

The cherry on top of all this is, recruiters from this company have reached out multiple times over the past two weeks but pull out after I inform them that I'm currently contracting for them. This is due to the understandable “external” vs “internal” hiring conflicts.

So I guess the question is, should I quit and open up the chance to once again start applying externally? Or would it make more sense to stick around and try for the mythical conversion or even just maintain and study for the inevitable interviewing at the end of the contract? Maybe try being overemployed?

I have tried asking the stand in managers, but they have much bigger fish to fry than the ambitions of a contractor so I would really appreciate some opinions on how I might navigate this period of contracting.

Thanks for the read and your time,




  • 1
    Profile picture
    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a month ago

    Stuff like this is why I'm very wary when it comes to contractor positions, even at top tier companies like FAANG. At the end of the day, contractors are 2nd class citizens at their company, and you are living that reality now as you don't get good projects and there's nobody truly invested in your career development.

    I still think you should try conversion (I do know several success stories there, though they are rare percentage-wise), but explore other avenues as well. Since you're not getting great work, I hope you have a lot of spare time to go on the interview grind again. While you are a contractor, the FAANG name is very impressive on your resume and will count. I know engineers who were contracting at 1 FAANG company and used that to springboard to another FAANG as an FTE.

    To help with finding a champion for you in your current company: [Masterclass] How To Build Deep Relationships Quickly In Tech

    To help with the job search: [Course] Ace Your Tech Interview And Get A Job As A Software Engineer

    Best of luck!

  • 2
    Profile picture
    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a month ago

    I think you should keep the contracting role but limit your hours so you have time to apply to other roles. I agree with Alex that being a contractor in FAANG is not a good place to be long-term: use it as a stepping stone to something better and more stable. (See: My company does not want contractors to lead new features)

    Can you force a timeline on the conversion? You can come up with a good reason and use that to demand an answer on the conversion. e.g. "I need to have clarity on the full-time conversion by June since a startup is asking me to join as position X. What information can I provide to explore the conversion to full-time employment here?"

    Really, the only leverage you have is that you can quit. Use this to get what you want!