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When to switch and look out for new teams?

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Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta3 months ago

The project I worked in for the year is getting deprioritized and I am looking for new teams to work in for the next half. Since PSC is coming next month and I am expecting relatively better ratings.

Q1- should I look out for new teams now. have chats with them and switch by next year once ratings are locked? Would managers wait?

Q2 - when is the good time to let my manager know that I will be looking for new teams?

Q3- If I let my manager know now, will it impact my psc results negatively?

Q4 - how to make the best use of time till psc results are locked?

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Discussion

(3 comments)
  • 3
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    Founder of Expanded Skills • Former Head of Engineering
    3 months ago

    Q1- should I look out for new teams now. have chats with them and switch by next year once ratings are locked? Would managers wait?

    It's always a good time to build relationships outside of your core team. Even if you're busy with your core work, I always suggest setting a biweekly target for the "number of interesting conversations you have with new people". The term "networking" is a bit overloaded and carries a transactional nature to it -- reframe it in a way that works for you.

    Avoid making the first encounter transactional in nature where you are trying to broker a team switch right out of the gate. Take a genuine interest in what they are working on and if the opportunity comes up where you can make a contribution offer to do so. If there's a natural opportunity to keep that going, the conversation around a team switch will be smoother.

    Q2 - when is the good time to let my manager know that I will be looking for new teams?

    The "when" part is highly dependent on your relationship and trust with your manager.

    I'll give two extreme examples from my past to illustrate the point.

    1. Very close relationship & trust: we were both transparent that we wanted to move out of the company, not just the team. I had major quitting anxiety early career and my mentor (and project lead for a period of time) helped me evaluate the situation rationally. This is extremely rare so I would dial it back a few notches in most cases.
    2. Pure working relationship, neutral level of trust: I hold off until I've not only made my decision, but also worked out a transition plan to mitigate the damage. There's not much of an advantage to you when doing this in steps unless there is a high degree of trust where you foresee a scenario where they will reward you for working to find a backfill for example. 95% of people won't, but ironically, the 5% that do, you probably want to keep working with them for as long as possible.

    Q3- If I let my manager know now, will it impact my psc results negatively?

    See my second point of Q2. Most people will unfortunately have a negative reaction. I've had situations where the manager actively blocked my internal transfer. I still got a good rating that year, but that more due to the fact I was running 80% of her org, so it's more of an incentive vs. a reward.

    Q4 - how to make the best use of time till psc results are locked?

    See Q1 on relationship building, which will yield a lot of opportunities if done correctly.

    Try to have a lot on your personal development backlog at all times. You can always fill it using these two brainstorming techniques to guide what's worth learning. It's actually a complex topic around building your skills portfolio, but here's the gist of it.

    1. Pick a problem you don't know how to solve and learn how to get v1 of the solution up and running.
    2. Alternatively, pick a problem you already know how to solve and find better solutions or introduce variants.

    Sounds like there's a lot on your mind, DM me if you're looking for further clarity!

  • 1
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    3 months ago

    Two things that would help provide a better answer:

    • How long have you been on the team?
    • How strong is your manager relationship?

    If I let my manager know now, will it impact my psc results negatively?

    I agree with Casey here -- this is a judgment call based on the relationship with your manager. If the following are true:

    • your manager acknowledges that the project deprioritization is not your fault,
    • if you frame this as "I loved the team, but I don't see as much of a fit given my skillset going forward"

    Then this could be a graceful way to switch teams and you'll get the support of your manager in finding a better-suited team.

  • 0
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    Senior Software Engineer [E5] [OP]
    Meta
    3 months ago

    I have a good relationship with my manager and have been working with them for more than a year. I would like to start talking to different teams for potential opportunities, being honest with them however, also don't want to waste time working in the current team which I know I will leave and for which I know I will not make any impact and staying here just so that I don't get a bad ratings in performance evaluation. What is the recommended way to navigate this situation?