Pinterest is an image sharing service designed to enable saving and discovery of information in the form of pinboards. Pinterest has over 430 million monthly active users and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
I work as an ML Engineer at a company, and I have been part of my team for two years. Unfortunately, the product I was solely responsible for got canceled due to external reasons, even though it was showing good growth. Throughout my career, I have specialized in creating recommendation systems for online content platforms.
Currently, I am involved in less impactful tasks related to migrating our systems. We hope to find more meaningful work in the future, but I'm unsure if our team can achieve significant growth. While my manager sees value in me, I am not considered the best player on the team.
Recently, I learned that the Ads department is actively seeking to hire experienced ML engineers, possibly even seniors. They have ambitious goals and are eager to develop new solutions to reach them. I attended their hiring meeting, and the ML director spoke passionately about the work, which felt risky but exciting.
Part of me believes I should join this team. The expectations would be higher, and the company genuinely values their work. It would provide a greater challenge, and I believe such situations are crucial for personal growth and improvement. Additionally, working in a different department would expose me to different organizational dynamics. In my current team, I'm increasingly feeling complacent and lack inspiration.
On the other hand, part of me thinks I should remain with my current team. I don't dislike my manager, which is not always the case in every job. My current team is also important, and I have respect for my colleagues. If I stick it out, there's a chance I might come across something interesting eventually. However, switching teams would mean losing the relationships I've built and potentially delaying promotion opportunities. Moreover, there are concerns about possible layoffs, so it might be safer to be conservative.
Do you have any thoughts on this matter?
I have been working in the industry for almost 8 years, but I often feel like an average engineer. I spend most of my time working, but I haven't achieved any significant accomplishments in my career.
I was able to get jobs at Pinterest and the company that used to be called Meta because I memorized coding interview questions and exaggerated my achievements. However, I don't have the motivation to aim for promotions, and I worry that I don't have what it takes to be an outstanding engineer in the tech industry. I work every day, but I feel lost and unsure about where my career is going.
I'm worried about my future career growth and whether I will find fulfillment. Are there other people who have felt the same way but managed to overcome it and succeed?
I joined Pinterest few months ago, and I was under the impression that I will be driving a large, high-impact project. I was hired with this project in mind, but due to external factors, this project has been deprioritized and removed from the roadmap.
This puts me in a vulnerable position as now I don't have major scope to work on. Here are my thoughts on how to remedy the situation:
I’m currently a relatively new senior engineer at Pinterest trying to get to staff engineer. The area where I need the most help is the direction axis of the next level. How can I meaningfully shape the vision for a decent project?