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Two months ago I joined a FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) company and I was very excited.

I have 6+ years of full-stack software experience and I have a master's degree in Computer Science (and very soon Ph.D. as well). It was my dream to work at company like this. However, the first day I joined I learned that this is not the same team I interviewed. In fact, they don't do any coding and I am basically a fancy QA that sends an email asking other teams to investigate issues.

The salary, however, is very high (50% more than my previous job) but I don't like the work at all. It's unmotivating and it's not challenging. It looks great on paper. I left my previous job after four years because of the same issue and have a chance to work here, but I am now regretting it.

What options do I have, I think leaving this job after a few months looks bad on my resume. I currently work remotely because of the pandemic and very soon they will ask everyone to come to the office and I don't want to move to another city for a job that's not challenging and kind of low level.

Update: *Were you led to believe that you'd be doing a different job when you agreed to join the company? What did they tell you that you'd be doing? – @Caleb

  1. my daily job description doesn't match the original job description I applied for
  2. the people I interviewed with actually code and the team I am working at is just QA
  3. on the first day I started the job my manager said we needed a person in this team so we decided to move you over, at that time I had no idea what this new team actually do
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    @BSMP I think it's pretty clear that OP wants a job that is more reflective of the one he originally applied to rather than the one he got, and wants advice on how he can get such a job without changing companies.
    – Ertai87
    May 25 at 16:13
  • Were you led to believe that you'd be doing a different job when you agreed to join the company? What did they tell you that you'd be doing?
    – Caleb
    May 25 at 16:18
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    Pandemic is not going to end anytime soon. You have a job that earns you 50% more than the previous one. That is one of the first and important benefits. Till the time, you have wfh option, utilise it to learn any new technology and try to improve your resume. Later, when you move to the office premises, you can request for an internal transfer. And, if that is not honoured, you can look for another job.
    – Sara
    May 25 at 16:36
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For a large company like a FAANG, there isn't a lot you can do. For them, the hiring market is a buyer's market rather than a seller's; if you choose to quit, there are 5000 people lined up out the door waiting to take your job, so threatening to quit or voicing your unhappiness or whatever is not likely to be a productive means of negotiation.

Having worked in a FAANG myself before and interviewing with others, I do know that most of those companies have a one-year requirement before they will honour an internal transfer. Meaning, you're probably stuck with this job for at least a year until you can request to be moved somewhere else. That said, if you have a copy of the job description that was sent to you, HR at these companies are usually pretty reasonable and you can mention to them that the work you are doing is not the work you were promised and you would like to be transferred into a role that is closer to the one that was advertised to you. That vein of inquiry might be productive, although do be aware that HR is not your friend; rather than ask for a transfer for your own sake, do your best to frame it as "transferring me to a role that is closer to the one originally advertised will make me more productive at the company", or something like that.

Failing that, your choices are basically to wait out a year and see if you can do an internal transfer (check your internal manual or ask HR directly to see what the protocol is for an internal transfer), or quit and find something else.

EDIT: After additional context from the comments, specifically: "The first day I started the job my manager said we needed a person in this team so we decided to move you over": You can also raise this issue with your manager, that you were promised one thing and then the thing you were promised was unilaterally changed without your knowledge or consent. This is a pretty shady thing of a manager to do (imo); usually they'll at least ask your opinion or give you a heads-up before doing something like this. If you have 1:1 meetings with your manager you should raise it in that meeting, or if you don't then you should meet with them privately and raise the issue. Try to be as non-confrontational about it as you can (again, there are 5000 people waiting to take this job from you if you don't want it, so be careful), but definitely voice your displeasure to your manager in a measured and professional way.

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    this is a spectacular answer, and ... "Try to be as non-confrontational about it as you can ..." indeed, IMO this is a "language question". how to negotiate / discuss this issue in the situation given.
    – Fattie
    May 25 at 16:32
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    Having worked at a FAANG company, they say 1 year until transfer but usually nobody sticks to that. It's much easier to transfer internally than it is to get into the company in the first place. I would 100% try an internal transfer long before leaving
    – EmandM
    May 25 at 19:06
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    "This is a pretty shady thing" - indeed, it's called "bait and switch".
    – B. Ithica
    May 26 at 8:50
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  • Your situation seems absolutely ideal while completing a PhD. Can we swap lives? I work my guts out on the most difficult, arcane, never-done-before technologies day in and day out. I want to be you.

  • If you're lucky enough to be working at a Fortune100, you "must" stay a year, it would be completely nuts to leave. Nothing looks better on your resume than that you were there for a year. So really, there's no real discussion about this, please, totally set aside the idea of leaving immediately. It would be like, say, giving up an undergrad degree with only one point remaining needed (wave!) instead of just sticking it out and getting the line for your resume.

  • Do indeed tell everyone about the problem - BUT - do it in a way that is not complaining or whining. Raise it as an OPPORTUNITY and ask people's opinions on the issue.

Be very politic about it as if you're offering a business-savvy suggestion because you're a team player on their team and business success is a team sport - with teams on teams! And you're on a team, damn it - so let's talk teams! (Watch before emailing hastily.)

So suggested language approach,

email to HR

Hi Steve, it's Bill recall you recruited me for the team 5 weeks back for the Omega Research position. Everything is great, I'm here on Jane's team. I've noticed that so far in the team, I've only been doing easy help-desk chores. Remember you and the team were specifically looking for someone for the team with great skills integrating tensors over delta on the gpu! I'm wondering, now that you've given me more! than enough time, hah hah, to have an easy ride settling in with the team, how can I bring more value to the team? Should we have a team chat about this? There might be low-hanging team fruit to build team value now that I've knocked out the team help-desk settling in for the team?

Good right?

Do NOT say anything like this

Hi Steve, here's a document showing what I was contracted to do with the company, I've sent two duplicates, you should be aware that I am doing nothing like this which is a major systems failure for the organization, please reply with the resolution

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  • Your suggested email would leave me scratching my head if I were the manager, leaving me wondering what your problem is. (As for that "hah hah", you're not seriously suggesting it, are you?)
    – TonyK
    May 27 at 10:35
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Collect the paycheck and shut up :)

From the description you made, you are now in position to make a break, relax and reflect about your life. You have relatively stress-free job and lot of time in your hands. I recommend using that position and:

  • Finish your PhD. As others pointed out, this is a golden opportunity to do that, with other things not standing in the way. Imagine how would you feel if you had to crack code 12 hours a day, 6 day in the week, to meet some deadline .

  • Think about your life goals. You seem to be a person not so much motivated by money. Maybe your future lies in academia, some postdoc studies or something.

  • Alternatively, maybe you like to be your own boss. Think about some project that could become your own startup and perhaps your own company. You could even start working on it while you are currently employed.

  • Save some money for the future, try investing etc ... You may need it, especially if you decide to strike on your own.

  • If you are not in relationship, try to further your romantic interests. After all, now you have the time and money. Much better position than being overworked and poorly paid.

  • Find some hobby, not related to your job.

This should keep you occupied for next 6-12 months. If you still feel the same, start gently telling your manager that you want career change, this is not what I signed up for etc ... Then you could look for opportunities both inside and outside of your current company.

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    Can't see any reason for downvotes here
    – Fattie
    May 26 at 15:09
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What's happening to you is actually very common with FAANG companies. But from your question, I'm not sure if you just assumed, or if you were explicitly lied to, to get you to sign on the dotted line, or if you were lied to, but then told the truth just before they handed you the contract.

If they did tell you, just before you signed the contract, or if you didn't ask enough questions throughout the process, then you don't have much of an argument you can make to HR.

What options do I have, I think leaving this job after a few months looks bad on my resume.

Sure, it looks bad, but you can still run an experiment to help you decide. Look for another employer. Since you're still working remotely, this should still be easy for you to do right now. And see what offers you can get from second-tier big tech companies.

It has only been four months, so I doubt that your ability to solve DS/A problems has completely deteriorated yet.

Companies like Stripe, AirBnB, TikTok US, CoinBase, Roblox, Affirm, Poshmark, Bumble, NextDoor, UiPath, ThredUp, Ant Group, Instacart, Flipkart, Robinhood, Marqeta, Databricks, DoorDash, Lyft, etc., may even pay you more than a FAANG company. Since they want the same caliber of employees, they usually have to pay more since they don't have the same reputation than FAANG companies.

And if they're pre-IPO, that's even better, because they're usually forced to throw in some RSUs into the mix because nobody who's any good wants to join a company who's about to IPO if they're not getting a piece of the action.

If none of those second-tier companies want to hire you, then your experiment will have failed, but then again, even if that happens, there is no harm to you, since you will still have your job at your current employer's (assuming no one snitched on you to your current employer for wanting to leave).

If you can make the jump to a second-tier company, and actually remain there for two or three years, then you will have jumped over the biggest hurdle. And that four-month stint at a FAANG company will be less of an issue.

For them, the hiring market is a buyer's market rather than a seller's; if you choose to quit, there are 5000 people lined up out the door waiting to take your job... (taken from the answer from Ertai87)

While this is certainly true, your HR department doesn't want to lose you right now either.

FAANG companies have such specialized internal systems, it can take a lot of time for new employees to get familiar with those systems. You quitting now would mean that they would have to restart the entire onboarding process with someone else, which is not what they want either.

This is not to say that you should threaten to leave. Definitely don't do that! But you should definitely try to see if you can get another team to hire you.

In the meantime, do not stop practicing coding interviews (and system design interviews), even if it means you have to wait an extra eight months before you're able to make your next move again.

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  • This is a terrific answer
    – Fattie
    May 26 at 15:09

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