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FAANG or Fang — Four Timely Career Advice For Young Job Seekers
Is the FAANG vibe still worth it?
Like many other young job seekers who had just left school, Peter wanted to join one of the most prestigious tech firms at work.
It’s FAANG or nothing. That was Peter’s belief.
Peter wouldn’t even consider applying to smaller organisations.
Why FAAN Has Become Hugely Popular
The FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) have revolutionised the world by attracting talent worldwide.
They boast great state of the heart offices all around the world.
As an employee, you get stock options, free meals, paid vacation, free onsite gym, onsite medical staff, discountable events, paid time off for holidays, massage services, free shuttle buses, onsite games and sports activities, and lots of perks. I haven’t even mentioned the high salaries.
It is little wonder why these offices are highly attractive to young job seekers who are just starting their early careers. Beyond the high salary, it helps them boost their ego and helps them stand out amongst colleagues and peers.
When Peter got into one of the FAANG companies, he was excited and shared on his social media platforms that he had achieved his life goals.
It was the perfect opportunity. Where else would he want to be if not an organisation that is home away from home?
Unfortunately, Peter’s engagement didn’t last long, as he was only an employee for three months before his employer let him go. He was part of those affected by the mass layoffs and, unfortunately, had to start all over again.
Peter was downcast and couldn’t believe what had happened to him. He knew starting over again won’t be easy, not after he turned down other offers from “small companies” to be with one of the FAANGs.
Peter’s recent experience got me thinking about the tech world. Is joining the FAANG as a young job seeker still worth the trouble?
Here’s what you should know as a young job seeker.
1 — There’s No Safety Net Anymore
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” — Andy Rooney
With the recent layoffs everywhere, you can almost tell there are fears everywhere, especially for those in the tech world.
Tech companies have laid off about 170k employees in 2023. There’s no safety anywhere. Many employees fear for themselves and their families since they don’t know what’s coming.
They are scared they might want to log in to their corporate systems one day and be denied access, like other employees found out after they were let go. Or they arrive at the office complex and realise they had lost entry access overnight. They watch the news regularly, hoping the next breaking news won’t be about them.
There’s no safety anymore. As a young job seeker looking for a stable start to a career, maybe you won’t find this safety net amongst the FAAN group.
It might be worth joining smaller firms to grow your career until a time when you become more experienced and can easily find your foot.
If you want some safety, then you want to avoid the big FAANG boys for now.
2 — Prestige Might Not Be All You Need
“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.” — Heather Shuck
You are unlikely to find prestige by landing a role with a big company. Not in this new age.
Prestige is only valuable when you have a job. A fired employee will feel no prestige. He will be filled with anger, resentment, and disappointment.
While you are dying to join your dream FAANG company for prestige, it might be worth checking that the vibes won’t be short-lived. Why would you go through the pain of recruitment and exercise for prestige only for your happiness to be short-lived?
Is it still worth it?
Looking beyond prestige might be the way to go, especially for young job seekers.
Ultimately, you want a relatively stable and safe career that will provide you with the right environment, team, projects and manager to support you along the way. If this is what you want, then other companies may offer that.
3 — Watch Your Mental Health
A loss of jobs and income can be challenging for many professionals. It can be hard to contain the initial shock and days when you have no job. I have been out of a job before. I know what it means to be without a job and an income.
“Balance is not something you find; it’s something you create.” — Jana Kingsford
It’s a moment that can affect one’s mental health, not just the income part. You deal with a loss of income and depression from no longer holding the prestige you once worshipped.
You no longer become the talk of the town, almost your peers. Instead, you are left alone, battling depression and mental health issues that might arise from the cuts and the unexpected news. You feel you have lost everything.
Many mental health issues are unreported due to job cuts or job losses.
If you are health sensitive and have underlying health or mental issues, you may want to avoid companies with uncertainties.
You can look for companies not as popular to begin your early career and get the experience and exposure you need. It would help if you had stability early in your career.
4 — Ignore Popular Opinions
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.
– Howard Thurman
Ultimately, not everything works for everyone, and you might find happiness in unpopular companies to begin your early career. A stable career with a non-popular firm might be better than a short-lived career with the FAANG.
You can ignore the popularity complex flying around town and be you by choosing what works for your circumstances.
That all your friends work with the top FAANG group doesn’t mean it’s the right option for you. Find what works for you and stick to your decision. You don’t have to go with a popular opinion.
The FAANG group is the new gold in town.
Unfortunately, this notion has changed due to recent layoffs.
Thousands have been let go because of a massive economic downturn and hiring practices.
You don’t have to go with the popular opinions if you are a young job seeker. There are no safety nets anywhere anymore. Look beyond prestige, ignore the popularity complex and find what works for you.
Consider achieving stability to launch your early career.
Don’t get stung.
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