Endgame: Work related (click bait)

Discussion in 'Tech Heads' started by Chemosh, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Chemosh

    Chemosh TZT Addict

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    OK, so this isn't a Avengers thread, but more of a what's my Endgame for work. I've been in a support role in companies for as long as I can remember. My career path has looked like this:

    2003-2006: Hart-Hanks (Microsoft Virus Support) Phone Support
    2006-2012: Dell (Servers: Hardware -> Microsoft OS/App Support -> KACE *Systems management*)
    2012-2019: Amazon (AWS) Support Engineer -> Senior Support Engineer (Storage and Content Delivery)

    The pay on this has been good. When I started I was making $10/hour and make roughly about 200k a year now. My current setup is about as sweet as you can get.

    - I handle large issues for AWS for our Storage and Content Delivery team.
    - Help build out our support org globally
    - Work from home full time
    - Work from 7am->3pm (most days with an hour lunch)
    - Not on-call

    However, since I've transitioned into the Senior role, and there's about 30 of us out of about 3,000 engineers, I'm curious where I go from here.

    Some background. My wife is a nurse and works really early shifts that start at around 6:45am and is about a 45 drive from our house. Our daycare for our kids opens at 6am in the morning which means if she works, I have to take kids to daycare. On the flip side, if she has a late day at work, she doesn't get home until 8-9pm (12 hour shifts + being late at times + drive home). This means on those days I gotta pick up the kiddos too.

    I've been thinking about my career path. We currently have 2 Principal Support Engineers at Amazon which are both in my org. I know mentally and intellectually I can handle the job. However, moving into this role will completely dead-end my career to my knowledge. There's no Senior Principal role in Amazon for Support Engineers and likely not many area's like it around the globe in other companies. While I can code, I'm about at a graduate level for coding experience and don't know many best practices that you'd expect from a more senior programmer. I don't have a huge amount of 'real' program management experience so this doesn't allow me to transition into building out new services/products easily at other companies or moving to other orgs within Amazon.

    If I went for Principal, I'd likely have to go into the office much more, likely working longer hours and it may cause other rifts in the family like my wife having to leave a job she loves to find something that works better within MY schedule. My visibility at Amazon would go from me reporting to a Senior manager to a Director (just below our VP).

    Should I push for this? Should I show them I have what it takes and see if I can keep the remote gig so I can maintain a good family life? Would it be worth the 10-20% raise it may come with? IE If I'm working an extra 5+ hours a week and have to commute another 1-2 hours a day, that's a lot of time I'm losing from myself and family in extra work/driving. Is it worth the possible dead-end career path or trying to discuss with our Sr VP / CEO (Jassy) possible down the road about adding in a new role for Sr Principal?

    More curious on your thoughts from folks who may have worked at the higher levels here within the TZT groups or folks who may be in similar situations.
  2. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

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    There is literally no way anyone can answer this except yourself (obviously) as it's such a personal choice when it comes to what will bring you job satisfaction.

    That said, I'm sure you know that already, and you know people can only describe their own experiences/opinions. I'm obviously older and further down the career path (also with kids), and I very much am past even giving a shit about "career growth" in any sense, aside from possibly just to avoid boredom (and I believe there's a lot of ways to tackle boredom that don't need any sort of official title change, if you have good management).

    Even at my age, with a somewhat limited skillset in key areas (programming also being the biggie for me), I could still work harder and make more money and strive for "bigger and better" things, but I really can't find myself giving a fuck. My time with my kids and my own sanity are just worth sooooooooooooo much more to me at this stage in my life. My wife's happiness, my need to take care of my aging/ailing parents, these also play a huge factor, and I'm very upfront w/my management about that as well.

    People at my org have asked/hinted several times now to see if I'd consider moving back into management again - and I've consistently declined, even though I'm positive it could mean more money. Recruiter emails and pitches go straight into the trash for me because I like where I'm at and have zero desire to prove myself somewhere else. I'm able to be really productive w/my current team, and make everyone around me produce better work, even as an individual contributor. For me, that's enough. More than enough.

    I try to remember every day to be really, really grateful for what I have - it keeps me from getting bored or antsy or jealous (when I see other people making more, or doing "cooler" things, or whatever). Sounds to me you have a perfect setup in terms of lifestyle life balance. I'd ride that out long as I could, stack cash for retirement.
  3. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    I wanted this to be an Avengers thread. You can imagine my immediate disappointment upon realization that it was a Chemosh career thread.

    Take it with a grain of salt, but pushing for a senior/management role at Riot was the worst decision I ever made there. I'd listen to wise old Utumno if I was in your position:

    Utumno likes this.