Help making a decision

Hi,
I started doing interviews lately and I reached the last stage in a nice startup, they seem to be impressed with my skills and they want me to join them.

On the other hand, I am still waiting for the interview at Google and Facebook which are scheduled one month from now.

Now I am in a dilemma, I can sign the contract in that startup, and cancel Google and Facebook.
Or take the risk and try to tell the guys in the startup that I want to wait one month (which is likely to cost me the job).

I want to at least try at Facebook and Google because I have solved too many leet-code problems (about 350 now), I studied system design,
and if I land a job in one of them, my whole career will be more stable.

I know that there is a chance that I fail at both of them, so this is a risk.

what would you advise your best friend in this case?

How much of a risk is it for you? There are probably too many variables for anyone here to come up with an answer for you.

I have no idea your skill level or experience, but if you’re self-taught and this is going to be your first developer job, then I wouldn’t bank on getting a job offer from Google or Facebook (just a hunch, though).

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Take the job if offered.

There is no such thing as stability. Companies lay off hundreds of employees for internal reasons at the drop of a hat and don’t think twice about doing so. Startups go out of business every day.

Google and Facebook are mature companies with mature problems. You will likely have much more personal freedom and ability to do important work at a startup, than you will working for companies in an entirely different stage of life.

The payoff from risk/reward is much greater in a startup than it is at any company that already has stock. I’ve had options several times that were underwater by the time I left, because you are going to get an option grant at market value, and the markets will determine if that equity is ever going to be worth anything to you. It’s actually a big problem for companies like meta and alphabet, as they tend to lose engineers and executives who value the opportunity for the type of equity appreciation that can make you rich.

There is nothing preventing you from taking the position at the startup and still interviewing with other companies. In most cases employment is at will which means they can lay you off at any time, and knowing this, you are free to leave whenever that is the best thing for you to do with your life, even if that means leaving 2 months into a job.

You also might never know if that was the perfect place for you, all because you have built up some other companies in your mind. I’m sure that the original engineers at facebook and google would give you the same advice.

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My best friend’s head would explode within 5 minutes of trying to program anything, so I’d tell him to run from both job opportunities for fear of his health.

More seriously though, as @colinthornton said, we don’t have much context as to the risks and goals you have, so it’s hard to pick and choose with the limited information you have provided. ​

From what you have given, there is actually only 1 option that has any sensible risk. There is risk in ignoring your offer from this company, and seeing if you can get into Google/Facebook. There is basically no risk in signing the job offer that is right in front of you.

Furthermore, there is actually nothing stopping you from working at Google/Facebook in the future. Technically if you get more experience now, you’d have a better chance later. It’s not like either of those companies are going to go anywhere, nor do I see any reason for your “opportunity window” with them to close.

The only “risk” you could have is “losing out” on a better offer from those bigger tech companies if you were actually able to get in. However who says you’d actually “lose” out on better ____ at a big tech company compared to a startup? It’s true a startup could crash and burn so there is the lack of stability, but if you’re starting out you can take more risk now than later. A startup will also give you more opportunities to grow and learn a multitude of things. A big tech company can do this as well, but you will be much more limited as there probably is already someone working on problem X.


I’d sign the contract, unless there are other red flags that would prevent you from taking this job offer that you didn’t mention. I assume the startup job is sensible and comparable to an entry level position at a big tech company across the board.

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