Rahul Pandey, an Indian-born technology professional turned entrepreneur who left his high-paying job at Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook Inc), recently talked about what led him to make the final call on the career front. His revelations shed light on the challenges he faced, which led to his decision to leave the tech giant after nearly five years of service, even as he drew an annual salary of nearly ₹6.6 crore.
Pandeys’ journey to Meta Platforms in his first months was characterized by intense anxiety and imposter syndrome.
“My journey wasn’t about simply counting $100 bills,” he shared on LinkedIn. For the first six months after joining Facebook, I was very anxious. As a senior engineer, I felt imposter syndrome. I had difficulty adapting to the company’s culture and tools, he added.
His anxiety was compounded by his reluctance to seek help at work for fear that it might reveal his perceived inadequacy. Moreover, a difficult period for Meta Platforms, marked by inventory declines and project delays, has increased his stress in the workplace. Several of Pandeys’ colleagues left to work at other companies, and the project he was working on was plagued by delays. Pandey told Business Insider that he has only been with the company for a year and feels it is too early to leave. Despite these obstacles, he strived to improve his performance and adapt to the changing dynamics within the company.
The turning point for Pandeys came two years into his tenure, when he developed an internal tool that streamlined workflow across the organization, earning him recognition and promotion. Reflecting on this achievement, Pandey stated that I not only had the technical knowledge to complete my work, but also had enough context to lead the projects. This is a key part of being a senior engineer and beyond (staff or chief engineer).
In 2021, Pandeys’ compensation exceeded $800,000 due to his continued strong performance and the rise in Meta’s stock price. Despite his handsome pay package, he began to question the true source of his achievements. I was among the top 1% of earners in the country! At this level, the money doesn’t seem deserved: luck plays a huge role, he admitted.
As the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, he began to explore opportunities beyond Meta platforms, driven by a desire for personal growth and a new understanding of his potential. In 2022, the technician made the bold decision to leave Meta Platforms and founded his own startup called Taro. Taro’s main goal is to empower software engineers by leveraging Pandeys’ extensive industry knowledge to help them advance their careers.
(Edited by: Sudarsanan Mani)