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What does work-life balance look like across the industry?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer at Small Companya year ago

I'm relatively new to software so would love to understand more here. In particular, what does it look like at Big Tech compared to other companies? My goal is to eventually transition into a Big Tech company - Do you always need to work 60+ hours a week to do well there?

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    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a year ago

    You definitely don't need to work 60+ hours/week to do well. There will be times (perhaps a few weeks at a time) when there's a deadline and you have to put in more time, but in general the industry norm is going to be around 40-45 hours a week. For engineers at FAANG, it's probably even less, although companies like Amazon and Meta typically have longer hours compared to Google or Microsoft (so there is variation among them).

    At smaller companies, I broadly think about two types of companies:

    • high-growth startups: hours are generally longer and will have lots of ambiguity
    • slow-growth consultant shops, or indie businesses: lots more variance, might be super chilled out, or they could work you harder than any other category (and with worse pay)