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How can I be more decisive about my career decisions?

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Senior Software Engineer [E5] at Meta2 years ago

Here's a recent example: I took 2 months to finish bootcamp, and I was very indecisive throughout that time, talking with various managers and tech leads. I initially talked to real time ads infra, then streaming areas, and many others. Even after picking a team I feel FOMO that there’s a better team I could have joined instead. How can I feel better about my decisions?

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 years ago
    • You shouldn't feel bad about taking 2 months to find a team: The team you choose to work on is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. A healthy team is the foundation for your success.
    • Historical side-note: Bootcamp mentors at Meta have been pushing mentees to graduate faster now, trying to offload them across weeks 4-6. This is different from when I joined Meta back in 2017 where mentors regularly encouraged mentees to take 6+ weeks to find the best team for them. I know many people who took 2 months+.
    • The 2 keys to improve your career decision framework are to:
      • Understand that "perfect" doesn't exist - Software and tech as a whole is just so complex that there's pretty much never any option that's clearly head-and-shoulders above the rest.
      • Timebox your decisions - Timeboxing is the act of confining an action to a certain block of time (e.g. "We will agree on the technical architecture for this project within 2 weeks"). When it comes to decisions, the contract is that no matter what happens by the end of this time block, you will go with the existing best option you have.
    • If you don't aggressively timebox your job decisions at Meta, you will simply not survive. The company moves way too fast for indecisiveness.

    Software engineering is inherently a crazy and chaotic space - You have to learn to be comfortable settling with a decision that doesn't feel perfect and has to make tradeoffs. If that decision ends up having problems, that's perfectly fine - Learn from the mistakes, patch them up, and move on. Repeat this process and continue becoming a better and better engineer 😁