We all know that software engineers are highly paid. The downside here is that tech compensation can be incredibly hard to understand, filled with so many different components.
I have worked at two larger companies and two small startups (currently at one). I'm quite content with my current company and role, as I have ample opportunities for growth and a great work-life balance. However, the only factor that makes me contemplate leaving my current position is that I'm earning less than some of my peers. I'm not comparing myself to the exceptionally high-earning individuals; rather, I'm looking at other senior software engineers who are making around $400K in total compensation. Currently, I'm earning around $250K. It's important to note that I recognize my experience level is relatively young compared to those with 20-30 years of experience, as I have only 6 years of experience.
I want to think about the bigger picture and position myself in the best possible way for the future. When I discuss this with some of my peers, they suggest that I should work at a FAANG company at least once to attract recruiters from better companies. While I've always been drawn to roles with high visibility and a need for velocity, I've found that at larger companies, I tend to work at a slower pace with less visibility. However, if transitioning to a FAANG role is indeed the key to opening up new career opportunities, I'm willing to consider it.
Has anyone else faced a similar dilemma in their career? I would appreciate any insights or advice from individuals who have gone through a similar experience.
Hi, I was wondering how you deal with constantly changing stock prices from the company you work at. I saw a video from @Rahul where he talked about the mistake to check stock prices at the beginning of each day or something. Not sure anymore where he said it. @Rahul @Alex I was wondering how you dealt with your stocks constantly changing in value.
I've been experimenting with Big Tech stocks and find myself constantly looking at them. I wonder how people in Big Tech deal with that with the stocks they receive from the company. Do they sell when they think it's going bad and turn it into cash, or just keep them for the long run? How often do they check their stocks? How to they deal with the constantly fluctuating prices?
I know it's best practice not to reveal your target salary or target salary range to recruiters of a specific company and it's definitely bad to reveal your current salary.
But what happens when the recruiter is not for a specific company, but instead a headhunter? It feels weird to withhold my desired salary since they can say to me "buddy, I'm not trying to negotiate against you, I'm trying to help you get what you're looking for." Are they right? Should I reveal that info or is it still better to not tell them?
Additionally, what about revealing to them who I'm currently interviewing with? I did that recently and am a little paranoid that the recruiter might somehow contact the companies I'm interviewing with to harm my chances. I'm pretty sure this is unlikely, but it got me thinking that maybe it wasn't smart to reveal that info.
In many European countries, total compensation tends to be more focused on salary rather than including stock options or sign-on bonuses, as may be common elsewhere. Total compensation is the salary, and in most salary negotiation tips they focus on how to bump up your equity in the company. Does someone have any advice on how to go about to get the most out of the salary negotiation in Europe?
I recently got an offer for a senior SWE backend role.
A little about my background: Sr backend SWE, 8 yrs of experience
Total: 240k TC
I was told the base goes up to 225k pre-offer so I'm thinking of asking how we can bridge the gap or land somewhere in between. Planning on using the no-performance bonus as a talking point to get more base pay. Overall my interview performances were definitely strong from my perspective. Company and role-wise everything lines up for what I'm looking for in my career. The initial offer exceeds my expectations but I definitely want to maximize my comp.
Any recommendations or tips?
Hey there 👋 For context, I quit a toxic job 2 months ago and I'm back in the job market.
I just finished an interview process with a company I really like, I think it checks almost all the boxes:
I expect to get an offer from them on Monday (I'm writing this on Thursday night). I know that because the recruiter called me today to touch base and to tell me that things went good! The problem with this company is that the salary is more on the lower side...but it's still on the range I have in mind.
The dilema is that I'm just starting to interview with other companies that pay 50% more, but finishing interviewing with them will take me at least two weeks...and the company I'm getting the offer from probably won't hold the offer for that long.
I have a few thoughts / concerns that I'd like you to help me sort out / discuss:
Thanks for reading! 😁
Hi All, I have a question on competing offers. Do recruiters ask to show the competing offer email or letters when I negotiate? I read it is not legal to ask for it or ask for the previous salary. I wanted to find out more on this, do they ask for more details of competing offers and should I plan to show any details for that? Also, would you mind sharing your experience on how you handled negotiation when trying to switch teams within the same company and negotiating a better salary within same company with an competing offer from outside the company. Thank you!
As an intern undertaking my first industry-relevant experience, I often find myself drawn to continue working on projects beyond my scheduled work hours. Should this extra time be considered overtime and discussed with my manager, or is it expected to be unpaid and regarded as a personal choice?
If someone was in a company for 5 years out of which some years were in one country while he was laid off in another country, What is the general guideline wrt severance payment?
Is it paid on pro-rated basis or total months would simply be multiplied with the monthly salary of place where they were laid off from?
I'm currently a frontend engineer at mastercard with 3 years of experience. I've been thinking about my next career move and do want to increase my compensation significantly within the next year. Outside a promotion, I can start leetcoding (I'm very out of touch atm) and try to land a higher paying job. But the other option is to learn blockchain and try to break into that field as it is more niche, maybe more high paying, and competition would be less too. But a quick glance at blockchain jobs on linkedIn wasn't very convincing as most jobs were asking for staff level devs. What do you guys think is the best avenue? Learn a niche technology or go the traditional route of leetcoding but has also has a plethora of competition especially in the current economy?
Appreciate your input!
I'm a software engineer with a few years of experience. I can choose to join a Big Tech company or a well-backed Series A startup.
What's a reasonable ask for the salary when negotiating with the startup? In percentage terms, how much lower salary can I expect at a startup compared to Big Tech?
Of course, I expect to receive equity/stock options at the startup.
I've received the equivalent of EE in all the areas of assessment. I'm disappointed with my performance review as I did not get promoted or get a reasonable raise despite my great performance. I (along with many of my peers and my manager) feel that I've already been performing at the next level for the past 6 months. Now it seems that I've to keep performing at the next level for 6 more months before actually getting promoted to the next level - this seems unreasonable to me.
What are my options apart from looking for other opportunities outside my current company?
Hi, I got offers from early stage startup, mid stage startup and established companies. I need to know how I should negotiate between these three to get the best offer for myself. The offer is for location based in india
I'm not from a strong coding background, learning Java (just to know a JVM language first) for the first time. Worked in IT industry for 4 years now in Infrastructure.
What path can I follow to land a job in a big tech (I'm also from a foreigner country) in the role that I aim to, even if it's to become a Junior or entry-level SWE?
Don't really care about decrease in pay.
I'm in a dilemma of wanting to change my career from a Data Engineering background to a SWE one.
My dilemma is about me not having too much of a coding background (too much SQL) and not wanting to do badly, alongside with probably having to accept less pay.
I've reached a point in my life where I believe I can live off my salary comfortably and start a family. I work at a startup that doesn't have levels but I was told this was the equivalent of a mid-level engineer. For the longest time, I wanted to make X amount of money so I can provide for my family. With my current salary, there is still room to grow but I don't have the same ambition I had with trying to get promoted. I am more focused on learning new concepts, building new apps and just having a solid work-life balance.
I would still consider myself early in my career 4 years of experience. Would you recommend I try to level up to a manager or any advice on what you would recommend as the next step?
I got a job offer - It's just the 1 offer, so I don't have much leverage. I suggested a specific amount which I thought was the average salary (which is the amount they offered), but I forgot to take into account inflation going on in Netherlands/Europe. I want to negotiate for a higher salary and less working hours (which is negotiable). I have to negotiate it soon so would appreciate any tips ASAP.
What I'm thinking of saying is the following:
I would like to receive xxxx amount because that would make me feel very appreciated and motivate me to work extra hard. I forgot to take into account inflation for the amount I suggested.
"I would like to work 32 hours. This way I can spend more time on my hobbies and start well rested with the work week after a long weekend.
Does this make sense?
All in all the current offer would be great for my current situation, but for the long term, the salary would be kinda low with inflation going on.
For anyone who stayed in the company during mass layoffs, how was the experience after staying?
The second question is, did you try to negotiate more money? When staying meant missing the exit package and potentially more work in the future. Is there a way to put the case forward for the compensation revisit?
Continuing from the post here:
Would the suggestions in that post be different for my scenario? I have added my details below.
I know that to get to the Senior level, I have to show influence at high levels. After reading the answer to some of the questions in the community, I am not able to decide whether I should focus on building web projects or should I start building an Android app. The advantage of choosing a web project is that I already have expertise in modern frontend frameworks. My initial years of experience is in legacy backend systems(mainframes) which I think is not of much use now in Silicon valley companies.
As far as my interest level goes, I am very much inclined toward the web. But I know that app development is definitely something that helps to attract users to your product. I am a bit lost on what I should invest my time on. Considering that I have 12+ years of experience, should I do both? Will doing both Android and web both open a lot more opportunities for me?
Should I focus on building something where I can show the impact with the number of users rather than thinking about the platform (android or web) for which I start building my side projects. Should I even care about doing side projects considering I have 10+ years of work experience?
Should I target full-stack roles instead of front-end roles?
Looking for suggestions. Apologies if this question comes out as too broad and not very clear. I am open for discussion if that can help to narrow down the response.
Current TC: 220 - 240K
I initially looked out for an opportunity because I was not really satisfied with the role and compensation.
I landed an opportunity in a mature product company
My current org matched the compensation and the role.
Still, with yoe I have and the state of the team and product we are building I feel I deserve much better.
It's been just six months since I joined. I aim for MAANG and that's why I feel unsettled.
In uncertain times, and given the risk of job security in tech, what are your views on passive income modes or side hustles such as writing a blog?
Can you suggest some of these for someone who is currently a backend software engineer?
Also, I am ruling out hustles such as driving Lyft/Uber as they require active participation.
I am a senior developer in my company for a long time and performing really well. I switched divisions in this new group about 3 years ago but my managers changed 2 years ago. I see there is a problem of visibility of my work to upper management and I realized my manager is not really helping me grow. I took many initiatives and lead the projects last year but there is politics and they are sort of blaming me that I am not performing well enough though these projects are very important to the success of the company.
On top of this, my compensation is way lower than industry and as well as across my company.. I asked a few friends across the company and it is 25-30k lower than theirs for the same level. I tried asking for a raise to my manager and my 2nd level manager(director) but my manager says that there is a budget every year in the 1st quarter and they allot it based on performance. My 2nd level (director) says my compensation is great and I am same as everyone else here. When I asked about my performance, I was told I am a solid and valuable performer but not outstanding and so you may get accordingly but no guarantees.
Last year there was a new senior director hired from outside of the company in our division and bringing many new processes and changes. The sr.director seems to understand the challenges and problems we face as a product and also the trying to change the way the people are held accountable. But since this person is new, they dont know my contributions in the past 3 years to this product. Many people with senior level titles who are paid more don't really perform at that level and it is seen..and people like me who perform well and paid less.
My question is - I dont think it is going to help if I talk again with my manager on this, but I definitely am under-paid and have to address this. So, is it OK for me to setup a meeting with the sr.director and share my contributions to this product, etc in the past years , and say I can bring in lot of value to this product in x, y, z areas and say I am underpaid and would you help with matching up at least to the company standards of 25k-30k more. I dont want my manager think I am skipping levels to talk to the sr.director. Also, the sr.director has the power to allot how much raises each person gets, and I think it will help me to talk directly to them, but I am not sure if that's ok to try that, any advise on how to navigate this is appreciated. Thank you!
I’m looking for a healthy raise at work of 15%-20%. To that end, I have done 2 things:
1. Shared a file with my manager last week detailing things I have accomplished in the last year and their business impact.
2. Asked my manager in our in-person one-on-one last week for a raise
My manager indicated it will be difficult for me to get a raise, both because raise guidelines are largely determined by how well the company is doing overall and because I got a nice raise last year and so the expectations were higher for me this year.
For background, I work at a big, boring, and bureaucratic finance company. I don’t think I did a particularly stellar job last year, but I benefit from being one of the few technical people on our business team, so am very valuable to the team. As a consequence, I can get away with doing a minimal amount of work, and I generally have a few hours during the day to spend it however I want. I am currently applying to different places, but realistically see if taking 3 months, plus or minus another 3 months till I jump ship. I have it set in my mind to only jump ship for a company which compensates at least 50% more than my current TC (which is low, by industry standards).
My question is, is it worth sending a raise request email to my boss asking him for the 20% raise? I’m leaning towards yes, but the counter would be he is already aware of what I want since I’ve asked him in person and shared my “ego file” with him, so I could be seen as overly aggressive. I would also only be recapitulating what I’ve already said.
The raise request format would be taken straight from Josh Doody:
Thanks for the guidance!
When an EM gives you the word that I'm willing to match the offer and the role. What should you ask the EM to make it official?
A revised offer letter or an appraisal letter, or something else?
Hi Taro community,
Seeking your help in evaluating two offers that I received from two start-up companies.
Thanks in advance for any kind of suggestions/comments.
I was under the impression that in the past (before Q3 of 2022), it was often possible to get exceptions to location-based comp ranges and to get an offer that was average for the role even if in a low-COL area working remotely. I've talked to other developers in my area who have said they experienced that.
Has this become more difficult in this market? I was evaluating an offer and the recruiter initially seemed optimistic about exploring going above the location-based pay bands in order to compete with my other offer and current comp, but then I didn't hear from him for two weeks (during Christmas) and then he got back to me saying it was entirely impossible.
I am planning to shift as most of my family would be situated there. But wanted to understand how it is from a growth perspective in terms of career ladder, compensation, and startup culture.
I understand that compensations are a bit lower than US. But how is it compared to places such as India wrt the cost of living there? I was exploring US as well but the long green card process is a bit challenging, especially since I have parents who are a bit older and thus want to be with them at a place where I can have them settle comfortably. Another con I feel is that very few companies sponsor direct H1B visa and don't want to invest two years in masters as well in US.
I don't hate my job but not interested in overly performing as I am not happy with my compensation.
No motivation to prepare for interviews in the current market
I just want to do whatever is assigned to me. I have no leadership skills, no confidence. No motivation to put lot of efforts and make an impact due to low compensation to fix my leadership and communication issues. It typically takes 2.5-3 years to get promoted to next level as an average engineer like me. I have been stuck due to immigration issues. Manager has too many reportees. Hiring freeze everywhere.
Do you have any recommendation on what to do in this case?
I’m currently relatively happy in my current role working on challenging problems, I like my technical peers and management and during my 3 years here I got promoted from entry level engineer to senior engineer (SD1 to SD3).
However, given the scope and impact I provide, it feels like I can potentially make ~100k more (50% increase) with a job hop talking to multiple recruiters.
The worry is that I lose the equity I built in my current role and be exposed to layoffs at the new company. Also, getting promoted to staff engineer for a similar compensation increase would probably take a while. I’m tempted to switch jobs to maximize compensation.
I’m about to start applying for jobs. I’d like for my next job to be at FAANG for all the reasons that Alex and Rahul mention it’s good to begin your career at FAANG. This is my third job out of school, so I’m a little late, but better late than never :)
I believe what Alex and Rahul said about working at FAANG is that it’s good because you:
My crude approach to getting into a FAANG/FAANG-equivalent company is to look at levels.fyi, and run down the list of companies and apply. This approach certainly satisfied point 2 above, and is also very good for getting 1 and 3 as well given that all 3 points are highly correlated.
I know that referalls are important, so I do plan on tapping my network as well.
But I wonder, am I thinking about this the right way? Is there a better approach? If I could in theory get super-amazing 1 and 3, and get less 2, I think I’d be willing to do that. But I’ll never come across such an opportunity if I’m just using levels.fyi
All thoughts are welcome 😊
I've had a lot of friends tell me that they didn't negotiate their offer, so I'm wondering whether it makes sense to negotiate. What are the costs of trying - Is it possible to lose anything if you try to negotiate and fail?
I'm wondering how companies think about employee compensation for those already in the company. Is it possible to have strong upwards mobility on the compensation side by just staying in your current company and doing great? Or is it better to change jobs?
I feel the quality and quantity of my contributions greatly exceeds the expectations of my level, so I'd like to ask for a raise. I'm basing this self-assessment based off raw diff count + SEV participation + project count + good peer feedback.
Typically raises are given out once a year at Robinhood, and I've only heard of employees get an off-cycle pay increase if they threaten to quit. How should I ask for a raise?
Let’s say 2 companies give you different levels, but the compensation is the same. Is it better to have the lower level to have lower expectations? Zooming out, how should I think about level and its overall importance across my career.