My ideal plan was to reach E5 (Senior Engineer) on my current team and then leave. But I am nowhere near promo currently. I’ve been on my current team for about 1.5 years now. I have to get promoted in about a year from now, or else I’ll be fired.
I need help deciding whether I should roll the dice and switch to another team. I’ve built some strong relationships on my current team, worked with my manager for over a year now and am fully ramped up to my current team’s stack. I’m not sure how to make the decision of whether to leave or to stay.
Sorry you're struggling with the tough decision. But here's the thing- from what it sounds like, your manager and your team want you to stay, and hence in theory would want you to get promoted. (This is true for most talented E4s)
So if you can come up with a very, very clear plan and expectations with your manager for the next year, I would stay because it'll be a lot easier to execute as an E5 with a team/stack you're familiar with.
You can also use this conversation as a litmus test for if you should stay. If your manager is unwilling to discuss such a plan with you, I would definitely consider leaving. But even then, only join a team whose manager is able to give you a clear growth plan themselves. That way, you can have confidence that you'll hit that promo wherever you end up.
Sorry to hear about your struggle with up-or-out: I've been there and it was stressful. I assume you're still getting MA and not at EE yet?
I think the E5's response pretty much nailed it. Switching teams is painful, and given that E5 is more of a tech lead role, having existing relationships and domain knowledge is extremely helpful. If you switch now, the clock will be even shorter as you'll need 3-6 months to really ramp up into a new team and then you'll have to make the trek to E4 EE and then E5 promo. This is near impossible unless your team is more or less perfect (i.e. abundant scope, incredible manager that can give you a ton of attention, E5 mentors).
If there aren't any red flags with your team (e.g. teammates aren't helpful, toxic management, slow and lackluster code review), I think you should really hunker down and try to make your existing team work. Here's some existing Taro resources to help with that:
Best of luck! If you share feedback you've gotten around the gaps you have for E5 promo (i.e. what has your manager told you?), I'm happy to give more specific advice.