I’ve seen a lot of tips for getting IC roles at FAANG, but what’s the best way to get noticed for leadership (eg., people manager) roles at top tech companies? Is it better to have leadership roles at successful but maybe lesser known brands or go back to a more junior role at big tech and hope you can work your way [back] up — wondering if going back and forth impacts your “career narrative” negatively?

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It’s VERY tough to get hired as non ICs in big tech, esp from consulting. The few exceptions I’ve seen are getting hired from a similar firm in the exact same industry, e.g. Sourcing Director from HP / Compaq getting hired for Apple Sourcing SM. But ideally, join your target firm as IC and work your way up

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+1, there’s a culture to preserve. It worked like this when I was in consulting too — we hired 20 external “managers” for every external MD

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If you have a good management role at a slightly lesser known brand, this will help you out a lot and you'll be better at the job. Think about where and how you can really own the skills and work. Then, see what you can do in terms of getting hired at FAANG. You'll have a higher TC coming in, and you'll be able to get a level up (I am assuming), if not more, than if you hadn't had that experience. You might not transfer over laterally, but it's still more favorable in terms of comp and consideration to have that management experience. Hope that makes sense.

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Going back and forth gets sticky in the mid term. Get qualified and go with your gut is what I say.

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