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Choosing my manager when joining a company

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Anonymous User at Taro Community12 days ago

I'm thinking of joining Amazon as an L6 Applied Scientist. The reporting chain they've proposed to me looks something like:

VP -> Snr Dir -> Dir -> Snr Mgr -> Mgr -> Me

Now I've been made to understand that as L6, my official scope is Snr Dir, i.e. impact across teams that sit under Snr Dir. I'm concerned how far down the chain I am here, especially if I eventually want to grow to L7, which would require impact at the higher level (VP). I doubt reporting to the Snr Dir is on the table, but I'm wondering if I can try to convince them to let me report to the Dir. They're telling me that who your manager is doesn't affect your scope, but I'm skeptical. On the flip side, it is Mgr who seems very excited to hire me, and I'm wondering if mentioning this to either him or Snr Mgr (who I have a sell call with next week) will cause problems.

Any advice on how to navigate this situation would be most helpful.

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(2 comments)
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    10 days ago

    You definitely shouldn't try to negotiate reporting to someone who's higher up. There's a difference between required visibility and who you report to. For example, at Meta an E6 [Staff Engineer] will often have director/senior director scope on their work, but they will usually report to an M1 (front-line engineering manager), sometimes an M2 (senior engineering manager). This is industry standard.

    For who you report to, it's better to be more local as you'll get better feedback on execution that way. At a Senior Director scope, they're interested more in the results from your level, not actually helping you accomplish those results. They're at too high an altitude to be useful to you (they're mostly focused on reaping the benefits of your work and other L6s collectively as that's how big company bureaucracy works).

    For tips on finding a good engineering manager, check this out: [Masterclass] What Software Engineers Should Look For In Their Engineering Manager

  • 1
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    6 days ago

    I'd be more concerned with the competency of your manager. This is often correlated with level, but not always. For example, if you're reporting to a manager and they've been at the company for a long time and promoted many people from L6 to L7, you're fine.

    If the manager you're reporting to is very new (i.e., they have no relationships or context across the company), then I'd figure out how to change managers into someone higher level. Ethan Evans has some great thoughts on this here: Here's How To Identify A Superstar Leader

Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational technology company which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, and much more. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, it has been referred to as "one of the most influential economic and cultural forces in the world".
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