I've spent the last 3 years in Taiwan sitting tight and waiting until I have enough work experience to qualify for the Skilled Migrant Category visa for New Zealand (Canada and Australia are also options, with similar requirements). Now I have those 3 years, I'm trying to get a job at one of the 75 tech companies on the Accredited Employers list who can actually give me a visa. Then, if all goes well, I can get be a Permanent Resident after 2 years. And only then can I think about getting married, learning to drive, settling down. It's been a long road to get to where I am now, aged 28, and I really hope some company will notice my plight and be willing to take me through the last step of finding a country to call home.
Australia has a skilled independent points-based visa which gives you the permanent right to live and work. I've actually just been granted mine about a week ago.
I take it that New Zealand doesn't have an equivalent?
I've written up a little log of what I had to do, which you might find helpful: https://recklessclicking.com/notes/australian-immigration.ht...
Hopefully your points are not just over the threshold - if they are, beware of losing your "youth points" and going below the minimum accepted points when you turn 32 or 35 (or whatever the limit is for the countries you're targeting). The years go by so fast!
I grew up near Geneva. My parents bought a house in France because it was cheaper. My dad crossed the border every day to work at CERN and take me to international school.
I can't be Swiss, because my parents weren't resident. I can't be French, because I wasn't born there. The nearest French hospital is 2 hours away through the mountains and CERN paid for Swiss health insurance. I'm British by descent because my parents are from there. Future children born outside the UK cannot be British from me, because I wasn't born in the UK. If I stayed in Geneva and met a wife there in the same situation (very common with UN kids), and kept living with my parents, future children would be stateless.
My girlfriend is Taiwanese. If she and I had children, they would be Taiwanese from her, and would have to go to the military and learn how to kill foreigners. There's a conflict of interest - I don't want children to kill me. She had a great time in Australia on Working Holiday and wanted to go to New Zealand too, but couldn't get one of the 600 visas even though we stayed up all night and applied as soon as applications opened at 6 am.
For her to move to the UK requires her to meet income requirements of £18,600 per year, which she doesn't earn with her CAD job, and it would take 5 years. New Zealand offers PR after 2 years, and New Zealand PR is enough for children to get citizenship. (some countries e.g. Canada give citizenship at birth to everyone, but then it's possible for parents to lose their visa and be separated from kids - I want PR before I marry).
So for a UK citizen with a Taiwanese wife it would be extremely simple (until Brexit of course) to move with her, the "third-country national," to France or Austria or wherever. Whether it's also easy to move to the UK with her, I have no idea... but it's definitely not automatically approved in all EU countries.
It’s also not quite true that your children would be stateless. This vastly depends in where they’re born. Also there are provisions for this in UK law. Lastly grandchildren of UK born citizens (which it sounds like they would be) are entitled to an ancestry visa. This gives 4 years to live and work in the UK without restriction. If they’re still there after 4 years they then get permanent residency and are entitled to apply for citizenship a year after that.
EDIT: so it’s been some years since I lived in the UK and the rules have gotten much harsher on spouse visas, namely there is an income requirement for the Briton (£18,600pa) and the spouse visa is for 30 months renewable for another 30 months so now it takes 5 years to get ILR (indefinite leave to remain). It used to be 2.
Still, it’s an option. As are other EU countries. Ireland, Sweden and even the Netherlands look like decent options. Maybe Austria too.
If you lose your job before the renewal she won’t get the visa.
You are better off moving to Canada. You will both get PR straight away and citizenship in 3 years.
> future children would be stateless.
If you had children who were stateless by birth, they would become eligible for British citizenship. Also, if you live in the UK for three consecutive years, then any children born after that period will be able to inherit British citizenship from you.
I was in the UK for university and a Christian volunteer group, over a period of 5 years. I emailed the Home Office to ask to "upgrade" my citizenship, but they said there's no way to do that. So I'm not sure where you got that 3 year limit from. (But maybe this changed since 2012 when I was last there).
> To qualify under this section, the parent who is British by descent must have been born to a parent who was a British citizen otherwise than by descent (or if that person died, then they would have been a British citizen otherwise than by descent but for their death).
The British citizen by descent parent must have lived in the UK (or, if the child was born on or after 21 May 2002, in a British overseas territory) for a continuous period of 3 years at any time before the child’s birth. During that period they should not have absences exceeding 270 days. The application must be made whilst the child is under 18 years of age.
The 3 year residence requirement for the parent does not need to be met if the child is stateless.
Also Canada recognises commonlaw marriage.
Here is how I did it -> https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15452647
That's not correct. You need to be present in Canada for 2 years out of every 5. NZ is more flexible but has a 2 year qualifying period to get PR.
It's also 3 years to qualify for citizenship.
US Greencards are the worst. Leave the country for a couple of months and it can be revoked.
Taiwan isn't the only country you mentioned that has compulsory military service. Your children would "kill you" (wtf?) if they grew up in Switzerland as well.
Compulsory military service had been phasing out for years, if not fully by this year, almost certainly by the time your children would be born. Moreover, only men are conscripted, so it's a ~50% chance. Finally, there are various alternate services they could qualify for, in lieu of military service. So I'm not sure what your GF's been telling you?!
> For her to move to the UK requires her to meet income requirements of £18,600 per year
What about if you got married?
This is because of a cultural shift in the meaning of marriage. It used to be one man and one woman, for life. Divorce, polygamy, homosexuality, and marriages of convenience changed that definition. I'm not trying to get distracted about whether those groups of people should be allowed to marry - that's a different political debate. The outcome is that marriage doesn't matter for immigration any more.
As soon as I get married, I'm going to have sex! But that might bring babies. If those kids can't have nationality, or risk their parents being separated by visa issues, I want to delay having those kids. So I want to get PR before getting married.
Also btw, there is no modern state that recognizes polygamy, especially for immigration purposes!
Ps: marriages of convenience are ... classic marriages. That is what marriage used to be. A business or political arrangement. For convenience.
Wait, you didn't yet ?
This situations seem so fucking ridicolous to me. Any country would be fortunate to have someone like you.
Do you have a website? Is your story documented anywhere? It's really powerful.
He’s spent the last three years working in tech in a first-world country while waiting for a chance to work in tech in another first-world country, where he’ll have to not-get-deported for two whole years before he can really settle down.
Maybe I’ve grown cold-hearted over the years, but “emigrating to a desirable nation for a desirable job takes several years, during which I’m stuck in another developed, desirable nation” isn’t wringing out any tears on my end.
It took about that long for my family to come over in the 80s, and they were fleeing religious persecution in a shit-hole.
In my experience at smaller companies you get treated better, you are a more significant factor to the overall success of the company and there is very little corporate crap which often has silly requirements that get justified by a mystical word of being "professional", which often actually seems to achieve the opposite of treating adults as bunch of kids that need to be managed and controlled :)
Though I know it also can go very bad for people in small companies that have mini dictators in charge.
By definition every company has a dictador. They might be "benevolent" and willing to delegate their power to some degree, but at the end of the day, they have the final say.
At small companies you are working your ass off, and sometimes you'll get something in return - but mostly you'll just get a thankyou from some C-level or founder dude.
At FAANG I was getting a decent salary raise year after year (and a bigger bump through a promotion).
Of course they say it was 10% because of the way they take stock into account.
Not totally unfair, but still a kick in the pants when the bonus runs out and you see a thousand dollars a month less in your bank account.
After all of the above though, I would put 2-3 years in at a FAANG and then do whatever the heck I want.
(First time I heard of it; had to look it up)
It's an odd collection, the others are tech giants yet there's no microsoft and netflix thrown in. Netflix is big but it's not Apple big.
edit: and they are ahead of google in market cap again. Been going back and forth for the last little while.
Judging by http://enwp.org/Largest_companies as of right now, the order should probably be AGMAF (Apple first) instead.
This seems hard to keep accurate.
Funny, it seems to have been coined in the US but I think I have seen it more in UK news sites.
You gradually accumulate authority and responsibility over time. Payrises happen when you manage to convince the owner you need more money, rather than on a HR-managed pay scale. Eventually you'll get a new job title that reflects your current role.
Seconded. At least at big companies, they have defined procedures for promotions and departures (if for no other reason than to cover themselves legally). In small companies things can end up as unpredictable as middle-school politics (and about as mature).
As a contractor you have essentially already taken a deal where you get paid a premium but have no expectation of career growth.
If you have no expectations of career growth at work then big companies are fantastic.
My point is you have self selected into a group that doesn't expect career progression at work in the typical sense.
Surely that influences what you consider a "better" workplace?
> It's what I saw how employees were treated.
A big company can be "nice" and yet incredibly soul crushing.
I've had years of productive work thrown away over politics.
That's far more damaging, personally, than having to work some overtime or being under a bit more day to day stress.
It's not really a question of big and small. Most companies are badly managed (or I am very unlucky). I found in big companies they at least know that making basic efforts to keep employees happy is profitable long-term.
You can end up in a spot where you can grow fast.
Or you can end up stagnating for years (me).
I've mostly worked at large (>10k people), though not necessarily hot, tech companies with established tech ladders.
Now I'm working at a small (<500 people) SaaS company in a non-tech sector. While there are definitely some perks (including, oddly, better pay) I have some concerns directly related to the size of the company and the lack of a ladder:
First, lack of opportunity for specialization. People who reach the top of tech ladders are often genuinely capable specialists in some sub-discipline. One has to specialize to develop mastery. When done well, a tech ladder provides a useful framework within which to cultivate mastery.
The question becomes, how do you develop (transferable) mastery in an environment that isn't organized to exploit it? Partly I'm hoping that as the company grows, I can grow my skill set towards and expertise that the company will be prepared to use.
Second, when the company is small enough, it's still possible for founders/execs to interfere with even relatively mundane technical decisions. Now, I think the people I work for are quite competent, and I actually have gotten to know them (which wouldn't happen at a big company). I'm just saying that for small companies it can be hard for those at the top to let go of control and switch to a more delegated mode of decision making.
EDIT: fixed formatting
I have no idea how to solve this problem, but the fact that you wrote about articulated it makes me think I'm not alone in my experience.
I have learned the hard way that one needs to spread out the achievements. For example if you have good number of ideas then don't spew out all of them in one go. Introduce them say in each quarter and people will say "Joe always seems to have an idea round the corner". Recency effect matters.
At Microsoft, for example, in the olden days at least, managers would keep around a certain percentage of deadwood on the team to give their best people good ratings and meet their firing quota if the need arises.
Tragic consequences of stupid rules, I'm baffled.
Startups were a mess of failed products, misguided work, and managers who showed no interest in managing, let alone investing in the growth of their reports. Good management is awesome.
I often see criticisms of bigtech as overpaying... or perhaps it is everyone else who is underpaying? Quit making the argument you should be underpaid!
Not to mention that at the big companies (FAANG) you get to work with some really awesome smart people. And work on hard problems that matter with products people actually use.
In the best case small startups are awesome. But there are many mediocre cases out there. Crazy crazy stuff. Every small startup I’ve been part of has had huge drama. Including extortion, sociopaths, bad senior hires, funding gone weird, and sheer embezzlement/misspending.
I've been contracting at a startup for a year, and seen all this happen during my tenure. We've managed to strip most of the deadwood now, but I'm unsure whether it was done in time. It'll be a pity if the company folds, because they have some quite cool tech.
Everytime I see something like this, I'm glad I chose the life of a contractor.
"and how I present it" sounds suspiciously like 'how much my manager likes me' (or whoever you present it to). Seems more like "same thing, different name" to me than a real difference here.
The people who made this decision we're specifically selected to not be familiar with you or your work. So it couldn't have anything to do with how anyone liked you.
But even beyond that, larger companies more commonly have codified ladders and clear rubrics or criteria for advancement and performance. This means that a manager must justify their rating against a set of objective criteria. Managerial bias can still creep in, but only on borderline cases. (And elsewhere in the workplace, but that's mostly unavoidable)
Including signing a FB new grad can make up to ~$225k in their first year. There aren’t many industries where this is possible with a bachelors or less.
I'm very sad I'll never get that...
I'd say that it's not as bad as it sounds, as dramatic stories tend to find their way up the HN ranking.
Working for big corp you have to pay the "corporate tax", which is this sort of inhuman set of corporate rules. As a free human being it feels really weird and offputting. What's really weird is the people who have been here for their entire careers and don't see that it's weird. Somebody described it like growing up in a dysfunctional family; it feels normal to you.
Anyhow, you can also keep your humanity and look at the rules as a minor annoyance that doesn't have to get you down. You can also think about it as part of getting a much larger paycheck. Some of my co-workers are ready to throw that away to work on their passion, but I quite like it.
1) The job I was hired for;
... but *more importantly*...
Also, are levels pretty translatable between big corps? Does level at one company have weight when interviewing at another?
It's also based on relatively small sample sizes. As a result, you get things that are, sort of by accident, mostly within the ranges you would expect for an employee at that level (because new hires normally start lower in-band, but they have large 1-time bonuses to make things up).
So, sometimes they're low in the range. Sometimes they're high in the range. They almost never reflect the actual compensation mix an employee would receive over a sustained time period. Maybe they're better than nothing?
>Also, are levels pretty translatable between big corps? Does level at one company have weight when interviewing at another?
Depends. In my limited experience, these levels are certainly more translatable than other titles (ie. someone who is L5 at facebook is likely to be hired at L5, or at worst L4 if they perform badly in interviews at Google, whereas someone who makes it to Senior SWE at some random software company might not have been exposed to the skills and tech necessary to be considered an L4 at Google or Facebook). That said, its not like a perfectly rigid hierarchy where putting in your time at Microsoft will guarantee you a higher level job at Amazon or whatever.
And yes, for Google/FB/MS these are common knowledge and HR will set offers accordingly. Interesting to see that eg. Netflix and Palantir apparently don't have any software engineer levels though.
Basically, that's the problem. In order to establish a repertoire, you need to have more than dense interests. It's cool to be passionate about one or two hobbies. Lots of people have none, and this makes conversation dull. However, it is vital you can maintain ordinary conversation on lay topics too -- It's strange to not be able to talk about the local flair, family or relatives, hot vacation spots, annoying ordinances, and neighborhood politics. If you can't maintain a casual conversation about some the above, you are quickly deemed "dangerous", as you failed the "same species as me" test.
This is not an indictment of you. Just plain fact.
The good news is that it's straightforward to learn. Plain osmosis works. Find some meetups which you won't find totally repulsive (say, boardgames, movies, etc) and just listen to how conversations between normals work. You can literally copy and paste these and pass the "am I human" Voight-Kampff tests with this information.
> unless they focus on some very narrow interests of mine.
I think OP's problem is that "other people" are not an interest of his. If it was, he'd never run out of things to talk about with these other people.
I also think that's a main reason people find those who can't keep up a conversation disturbing. They sense that you're not interested in them, and that makes you potentially dangerous.
I happen across a lot of conversations where people are just blabbing at each other, but don't actually listen to what the other is saying (or are clearly not interested in what each is saying), but still continue to have a conversation. I don't get that...
You're actually halfway there with the question. Indeed, the point is not conversation, or at least not the literal contents of the conversation.
When I was younger, I had a hard time understanding this stuff too. I'm not 100% sure why (I'm not convinced I'm even slightly on the spectrum, but it's not out of the question entirely; it's also just possible that I was simply too different as a kid from the other kids), but one of the steps to resolving it is just to realize that yes, there is logic to almost all of what is going on, and it isn't actually that complicated of a logic either. The biggest impediment to not being able to understand these interactions is the belief that you can't understand them, or that there's some sort of virtue in not understanding them. The second-biggest impediment is the belief that these things are essentially irrational, in the older sense of "essential" as meaning something like "inseparable from the whole"; there is actually a level on which this is all shockingly rational behavior. Once you get over those ideas, and accept that the surface levels and what's actually going on in the relationship between two people is not the same thing, it doesn't really take long to figure out what's going on.
(There's... a few other ideas you'll find you may want to discard. For instance, while politically incorrect today, there are reasons to be initially distrustful of people not in "your group". If you can't believe that's true today, it was certainly true in evolutionary terms. So there are instinctual protocols for determining whether someone is "in" or "out", and there are reasons for them, and there are reasons why they involve difficult-to-forge signals like simply knowing some in-knowledge from a culture, or burning time on seemingly-inconsequential conversations. And these things operate at instinct level; it doesn't matter if you think they are wrong, out of date, or politically incorrect; they do what they do anyhow. Start putting a few of these things together and it all starts making much more sense. There's reasons why these things exist and persist.)
You basically said there 'is' a reason for inconsequential conversation, but then only proceeded to hint at it's existence outside the last paragraph, and that was described as a different idea I might want to discard.
As such I can only hope that I'll eventually figure it out as I get older. So far the only thing I'm finding out as I get older is that humans are indeed irrational, and that often you just have to deal with that.
I was lucky in that these were instigated by my more outgoing brother, but I picked up a lot of the patterns which smooth these interactions, to the extent I can have decent conversations. Helps to be able to code switch as well. You’re not necessarily going to have a deeply intellectual discussion every time, and that’s fine.
But for myself it becomes really hard to do so with people, with whom my relationship might have downgraded, which in a working environment can have a serious impact in your progression, your evaluations and how much respect other people actually give you.
On the tech side, I have also felt that most people don't want to talk about anything related to tech, or when they do it's rather vague and blank, without properly backing up there convictions.
It would be nice to be able to share experiences with other employees regarding their favorite programming languages, opinions on the new X/Y/Z language, what could be done to improve our project, and so on. But most conversations don't evolve to any of that, it's mostly making fun of each other (on a nice way), flirt, sports and gibberish.
I am currently trying to gain knowledge after work on different topics such as: Docker, Kubernetes, services exposed by Cloud Providers (Azure on my case) and how to manage/deploy them, but I don't think anyone from my team would ever be interested in talking about it, which simply makes me feel like I am on a place where I don't belong.
anyways all these social skills are learnable. But only if you think they are, truly believe it, and only if you try. It might be hard. But hey.
Also consider therapy. Consider it a way of learning how to operate your mind.
This is good advice, but I think it's good advice for any company you join: understand how performance is going to be measured.
This is a key question that you should ask during the interview process. Remember, they're not just interviewing you, you are interviewing them.
I interviewed at a decent-sized company (100+ engineers) recently and when I asked about their salary bands/career ladder/review cycles they just said "oh, we're too small for all that. We'll just promote you when the time is right." Got out of that quick.
I really respect Rachel and all her writing. Our industry needs something more widely accepted as a best practice which is transparent to existing employees as well as new people getting into the field.
Within a job ladder, you then have levels. They tend to map onto
years of experience, *whether you have a degree or not*,
what kind of degree it is, how well you do in your interviews,
how much money you ask for or hint about, and possibly how
well you did as an intern.
As my manager put it at the time "Nobody gets promoted for reducing the size of a tire fire by 50%".
You have to be really strategic about what you work on, and for who. It's not about the technical contributions, it's about finding and retaining a sponsor higher in the organization. You help them torpedo competing initiatives and increase the headcount they manage (headcount is points), and they help you navigate the political climate to get onto the project du jour.
I worked at an old school BigCo for 3 years and we shipped not a single product from a team of ~300 people if you count peripherally involved people. The only thing that saved us was that we managed and maintained a small software tool used directly by the CTO of the conglomerate, which we could wave as a ward against interference.
Some of those 300 got promotions, some got transferred (far away from their home and family, into different divisions that they had no experience with, aka exile), and some got laid off, even though as far as I could tell none of us had any ability to affect the end result (priorities changed too quickly to make any headway). For the record, I quit.
Mean time between reorganizations, management shakeups, and goal shifts was ~2.5 months.
... and then they wonder why there's so much turnover in our industry. "Due to circumstances completely outside your control, you have no future at this company." "Hm - well, maybe I have a future at this other company then." "What ever happened to loyalty?!"
I've been stuck as "the guy who quietly fixes the problems no one else can figure out" for years, while being passed over for promotion because I'm not sufficiently externally visible in that role.
Of course there can always be problems with skills or performance due to not having a relevant degree.
But I think with many years of experience this requirement can be replaced. But that's not "right after you get hired"
She left high school early to go straight into college, so officially she never graduated from high school. That's an automatic rejection from many companies, even for "white collar" positions. It doesn't matter that she's studied at some prestigious places, has a post-graduate degree, etc., because there's an unchangeable, un-bypass-able filter at the start of the process which rejects anyone who doesn't have a high-school diploma.
I'm not one for dishonesty in general, but if you have a post-graduate degree from an accredited college, ticking the box on an application form that you also have graduated high-school is damn near not a lie, IMO.
Like @paxys (sibling comment), I've not seen it be a problem once you're in, but it does affect the ease with which you get job offers, and those can be a big part of career growth.
Sometimes you land a great job, in a great company, with a great manager and you work your way up, with the right opportunities at the right times with the right rewards.
But most people find that they run into a blocker somewhere along the way. Maybe the company isn't growing fast enough to create relevant oppportunities. Maybe you get a manager who sees you as irreplaceable and doesn't want you to move up. Maybe something stuffs up and the blame falls on you and your promotions get stalled for a while.
And in all those cases (and more) it helps to have a ticket out of there. Even with 5 to 10 years of experience, some % of hiring managers / recruiters will look at where you got your degree (and in what discipline) and take that into account when deciding whether to interview you. And fewer interviews leads to fewer offers, leads to fewer choices, leads to less control over your career path.
The lack of a degree is not a total blocker - once you get into that first role and prove yourself you've got good chances - but it will have some impact and could make it harder to meet your goals.
If you get in without a CS degree, you often can get looked down upon as "not technical" or "more business than technical" unless you prove your chops coding.
Of course, one has to ask - how many people today have a CS education before they even reach college? It's possible that somebody already has CS education from high school and chooses to study something else to broaden their horizons.
Unfortunately, that can be a costly mistake when applying to jobs requiring a CS degree. But it can pay huge dividends in one's diversity and understanding of the world.
Places that really pay attention somewhat ignore your degree or education and focus on your skills and/or experience, IMHO.
Even though I basically designed and coded the entire data layer of the platform, maintain and administer the entire pipeline (including the production databases), am on call any time anything goes wrong, my title was only very recently changed to "Senior Software Engineer" - and it was independent from any increase in salary, which didn't happen. The title change was also "promised" to me for a few months after appraisal - presumably to retain me.
It's all weird but strangely, it had started to grate on me the last year that despite all the critical work I did, the salary and position did not reflect it at all. Still doesn't.
If the pay doesn't reflect all the responsibility you have though, that's a serious issue.
Is this even knowable in most companies?
I'm quite sure that regardless of the official system, charismatic and ambitious managers who deliver results will have much more influence than the rest... and perfectly competent managers may have less influence than the system assumes just because they're not pushing.
So while there's probably a lot of variance between companies, I am very skeptical you could get actionable info on that in the interview process.
I was on a team with no one above SDE-I. That was bad.
To a certain extent. However, too many job changes, over too short of a period, looks really bad on a resume. It is possible to job hop yourself into unemployable territory, citizen or not.
Can someone tell me a little about this? Is this a situation where a company pays you to quit without firing you?
What they pay you for is you signing away your ability to sue for wrongful termination. Because they can't really fire you for any reason.
This is not always the case, and if you can turn it around, that is fantastic. It really helps to have a manager who can help guide you. A coworker of mine was place on a PIP and, honestly, was expected to be managed out by just about everyone. However! He rose up with guidance from manager and became a _very_ productive team member. To the point now that I am very glad he is on my team and I think a big part of our latest project's success came from him. He grew a lot and is on a great path in our org now.
Sometimes people just don't know how to work or how to accomplish what's expected of them and outward observation of lack of productivity can miss the underlying cause that might be correctable.
(It's still the least common outcome, of course, but it's not as rare as I first assumed.)
Sounds like your (peripheral) experience has been positive, so not criticizing, just curious. I’ve always treated PIPs as something only to be discussed between manager and struggling employee.
One of the most painful things for me in administering PIPs is not the “you are on thin ice, here’s a bunch more structure and documentation” part, but rather, the requirement to keep the main focus of my management energy a secret from the rest of the team.
I can’t exactly say, “Yeah, [strong team member], I know it would have been way better if I’d done a prep meeting with that hard-to-deal-with team yesterday rather than throwing you in the deep water, but I was too busy making [failing team member]’s life miserable by hyping up the scrutiny and guidance so they stop breaking the team’s morale with their shoddy work.”
PIPs take a lot of time and effort for managers and the unfortunate recipient of them, so it’s kind of a hard thing to conceal.
We try to have them not be. I'm an exec and have 5 tribes reporting into me for years, so I've had the opportunity/obligation to discuss, strategize, and track the outcome of a couple dozen PIPs in my org over the last decade.
Leaders spending extra time and attention on team members who are struggling is no secret and doesn't need to be. (It's not like the rest of the team doesn't have any idea who is struggling.) It's only the "PIP-p bit" that is formally secret.
I had initially thought of a PIP as a ceremonial formality to be processed along the path to a lawsuit-free termination. Having seen them play out over the years, I now think that's an overly skeptical viewpoint.
Of the success cases, I think a common/typical unifying thread was lack of good, nearby leadership (team/squad lead or even a “buddy/onboarding mentor”) intersecting with someone who wasn’t already competent, curious, and self-motivated. I view those successes as (at least partially) leadership failures that we corrected alongside the employee. This framing is both generally accurate, but importantly, also removes the “stain” for future reviews and promotions. We truly do “put it behind us.” Anything less would be terrifically unfair. We have ex-PIPers get promoted, go on to lead teams/projects, etc.
This is very true in my experience and probably worth underscoring. How many of you feel like your boss isn't supporting you? Whenever that happens, watch out.
There's a flipside, though. It's not as scary to change jobs as it seems. And you'll probably be much happier.