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How to survive potential layoffs?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [E4] at Metaa year ago

I am a little worried about the potential of layoffs at Meta. I am not sure if I will get a needs support. I have been working on doing a design doc for the past month, and my manager has generally been very positive towards me. But I feel like I might get a NS due to my not submitting as many diffs and accepting as many diffs. I joined my team less than three months ago, and still technically ramping up. I would be sad if I got a NS or a pip, but it wouldn't destroy me.I guess my question would be how can I best buffer myself during these next few months, and how can I avoid situations like this in the future? What should I do if I do get put on PIP/NS?

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(3 comments)
  • 31
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    Staff SWE at Google, ex-Meta, ex-Amazon
    a year ago

    There’s way too much to unpack here, but a lot of it isn’t necessary.

    Do you have any indication your performance is poor? The next cycle covers all of this year. You had half the year on another team. How did you perform there? If you just joined the company, you should get clear guidance on how long ramp up should be expected. I would say you should be operating at L4 now, but just now. As such, working on a design document seems at or above level to me, but I didn’t have a ton of time to acclimate at Meta, and the scope of the design may be small.

    But talk to your manager! Do you have expectations written down and agreed to? Have you asked what rating you are tending toward based on performance to date, and what would help get you to the next level up or drop you to the next level down? They are a big part of managing your performance and a rating should not be a surprise.

    I’m not going to talk about handling PIP because it’s just not on the table at this point. Get more data and work on avoiding that if it’s even a risk (doubt it is). If you need to shift priorities, do it. You still have a whole quarter!

  • 39
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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    a year ago

    Lee has pretty much nailed it in his advice, so here's what I have to say to add onto that.

    Talk To Your Manager

    • It looks like you have a lot of uncertainty, which contradicts my firm belief that your performance review result should never be a surprise. You can find our in-depth session on how to achieve that reality here, which is largely inspired by our experience with Meta PSC.
    • To learn how you can build that deep, effective relationship with your manager to do the above, check out our in-depth session on having impactful 1:1 meetings.
    • Meta revolves around PSC, and every manager knows this. Once you have a good relationship with your manager, don't be afraid to ask something like, "I know that it's hard to predict calibrations, but if you were to give me a hypothetical rating, what would it be? I know that I should take whatever you say with a huge grain of salt." This transparency is vital to understand where you stand, and ultimately it will help you and your manager as it helps with your performance. The thing is that it's super awkward for a manager (especially a new one, which so many Meta EMs are) to volunteer this info proactively, so it's often times the report (i.e. you) who needs to put their foot forward first.

    Relax Your Mentality

    • I know that it's easier said than done, but in times like these, it's crucial to make peace with the fact that at the end of the day, some things are simply out of your control.
    • Do your best (including following the advice from this thread), strive to put out good work, treat your team well and hope that this is all enough to get by. That's the most you can do.
    • If things don't work out, that will definitely suck but I'm sure you'll be fine - You work at Meta, one of the best engineering companies in the world!

    Having a lot of anxiety and lacking confidence can often times be a self-fulfilling doomsday prophecy - It shows in your actions and affects your performance negatively. As Lee mentioned, a lot of this isn't necessary. Let's cross bridges like NS/PIP when we get there (which we hopefully never will).

    Related resources:

  • 17
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    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a year ago

    One strategy to help calm anxiety is to imagine the worst case scenario. Let's say you did get a PIP and/or got laid off. I'm quite sure that at a company like Meta (or any reputable Big Tech Co), they'll give you a soft landing -- something like 6+ weeks of severance and insurance. Look at example layoffs from Coinbase, Airbnb, and other tier 1 tech companies.

    So whatever happens (good or bad), you'll have time to get your bearings, figure out next steps, and make your next move which is best for you.