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Why pursue corporate job when you can be an engineer influencer and earn millions?

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Software Engineering Intern at Taro Community8 days ago

When is the best time to quit software engineering and pursue an influencer career (like Rahul did)? Do you recommend having a decade of corporate experience first before becoming an influencer?

I really want to build a personal brand and build a coaching/info product business. I am not a big proponent of working for someone else; I am in my job just so I can pay my bills, not necessarily because I love the job (which might be detrimental when I will be pushing for senior/staff promotions because my "passion" will be lacking?).

I have seen influencers making six figures (if not millions) in 1 - 3 years of starting their business. That is what inspires me - as the growth is exponential compared to a SWE career.

(Context: I go to a top university, and have done few internships. Thinking if I should pursue SWE full-time after graduation, or just create an influencer business right away. My long term goal is to have my own startup and I believe having a personal brand will help.)

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Discussion

(6 comments)
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    Thoughtful Tarodactyl
    Taro Community
    8 days ago

    You can start influencing whenever you want. It doesnt even have to be about yourself. People like fireship have done a great job in writing about technical content

    A ton of people are influencers to help other college students or early career students. The main sources of income are brand sponsorships, affiliates, and revenue from videos

    With influencer it's always best to start it on the side and then pivot only when it makes enough money to do full time. It takes a long long time to actually get to the point where it generates enough revenue to work as a full time business

    • 0
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      Software Engineering Intern [OP]
      Taro Community
      8 days ago

      By influencer business, I meant having a coaching/info product business as the main source of income. Social media is just a funnel to those.

    • 1
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      Thoughtful Tarodactyl
      Taro Community
      8 days ago

      It's possible if you do consulting for other businesses/startups. It's hard to make a business coaching individuals

  • 2
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    Engineer @ Robinhood
    8 days ago

    For every Mr. Beast, there's 10000 influencers who are at best teatering on the brink of piling on debt.

    Many of these engineering influencers have very large moats and support networks, so they are able to aggressively pursue these pivots. I'd recommend you crunch the numbers on your current situation, how much runway you want to give yourself, and your risk tolerance and make the choice from there.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    8 days ago

    A corporate job is much more stable compared to being an influencer. On top of that, getting a corporate job is probably easier than becoming an influencer who's able to make a decent living off of their following (yep, even in this market).

    Being a influencer is a huge grind. You're constantly on the content treadmill, and it's really hard predicting what social media posts will do well and which ones won't. Monetization is also difficult (Taro is not making millions, but we hope to get there someday).

    What I will say is that doing some content creation on the side is helpful for getting a job. I've talked a couple Taro community members who said that their LinkedIn following helped them get legit roles (including one at Google!).

    We just launched a course about all this if you do decide to go down this path: [Course] Become An Engineer Influencer

    I made a case study about my LinkedIn as well: [Case Study] How I Get 500,000+ LinkedIn Post Views Per Week

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

    I recommend building a career first as a SWE full-time, especially if you plan on targeting engineers eventually. I talk about some of the reasons why in this post about advice to my new grad self:

    • You'll (hopefully) earn a lot as a software engineer, which will allow you to be more patient when you leave the job
    • You'll expand your network of smart people who can become collaborators or sources of inspiration
    • You'll accumulate stories and lessons that will give you credibility

    Influencers making 6 figures is the exception, not the norm. Keep in mind there's a huge amount of survivorship bias here -- you only heard about the "influencers" who made it, not the many who tried for a few months before giving up without traction.