How can I approach looking for an FTE role?

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Senior Engineer at Amazon10 months ago

I'm currently working at Amazon as a contractor. There's 2 questions on my mind:

  1. I approached my manager for the possibility of converting to full-time and they said that headcount wasn't available. However, several full-time engineers joined the team recently in a similar role to mine. Should I approach my manager about this? If so, how do I frame the conversation?
  2. Is it a good time switching to full-time in general? What are the pros/cons of contract vs. FTE?
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  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    10 months ago

    For the manager conversation:

    • It is really hard to bring this up without sounding accusatory. Unless you have a good amount of conviction in your manager being good and liking you, I would err on the side of not doing this conversation at all.
    • If you are going to bring it up, do it extremely delicately (feel free to share some theoretical dialogue, so the community here can share feedback). I would say something more innocent like, "Just noticed that I hired several full-time engineers like me: Does this mean that there's headcount open for FTE now?"
    • There's a clear power-dynamic between you and your manager. The failure mode is envisioning some magic scenario where you successfully call them out and they give you a full-time position from that: That's not very likely to happen.

    For contract vs. full-time:

    • I think the main benefit of contracting is the flexibility. Hours can be lower, and you're not held to the full performance review process of the company. At Amazon, I imagine performance review is rough.
    • On top of the pay/benefits, I think the main thing about being full-time is that the company is probably going to invest more into you. This means better projects, more face time with your manager/TL, etc.
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