Why I Left Amazon

I spent 4 years at Amazon – In this video I breakdown how Amazon pays corporate employees, and why it’s not financially worth it . Why I Left Amazon breakdown how Amazon pays corporate employees and why its not financially

I recently left amazon because i hit the amazon cliff and we’ll talk about what the amazon cliff is in this video, but essentially uh. What happens when you get an offer at amazon? Is you get a four year stock package, so the breakdown of compensation, winds up being base salary plus, what’s called bridge cash i’ll get into that in just a second but base salary plus bridge cash for the first two years and then year one your first year, You get five percent of stock granted to you. Actually you get access to five percent of the amount of shares that they gave you over four years year. Two, they give you fifteen percent of your shares, you’re three.

They give you forty percent in year, four, they give you forty percent. So here’s what winds up happening year, one let’s say you get a base salary of a hundred and fifty thousand dollars just throwing out a random number here. So we can have this conversation. But let’s say it’s a base of 150 and then you get a bridge cash of 50 000. Now that bridge cash looks like ordinary income for you, um all things considered, you get a monthly paycheck and it’s going to be 200 000 total the 50 000 bridge and the 150 000 base. Why I Left Amazon breakdown how Amazon pays corporate employees and why its not financially

Now amazon typically doesn’t pay bonuses for a lot of rolls. So it’s just bridge cash plus base and then, at the end of your first 12 months you get five percent of your stock, so maybe get another ten thousand dollars just call it round numbers two hundred and ten thousand year, one now year. Two: what happens? Is you get your base? You get your bridge cash once again and you get fifteen percent of your stock.

So let’s say that’s 25. 000 right, so you have. You know. 235. 000 total compensation just clean round numbers year.

Why I Left Amazon breakdown how Amazon 

Three bridge cash goes away now. This is kind of weird you get paid your base, 150, 000, but now you’re getting access to 40 of your stock. So if the market is doing really well, you should be getting paid a lot more money than your first years. Uh your first two years same thing with year: four, hopefully, the stock is on the upswing. Now the problem and it’s a gamble that anybody takes while joining a company and getting stock or specifically amazon for that matter is if the share price is three thousand dollars.

When you join well and it’s you know five thousand dollars after four years, then you’ve had a windfall with the amount of shares that you’ve gotten because it’s grown and now you get access to that year. Three and four. If you stick around, alternatively, if the stock, plummets and uh your bridge cash goes away year, three, the stock to get access to 40, and now it’s worth dirt right this could this could be a reality in certain situations and uh. You know people are predicting that the stock market could crash at any time. I don’t necessarily think amazon is going to plummet.

I think they’re going to keep on going, but when i started looking at the numbers, i started really thinking through whether it was going to be worth it for me to stick around after four years, because for me it was just base salary with a couple. Extra shares here and there that were doled out for you know a handful of performance reviews over the years, but they vest like uh, like a carrot, stick in front of you right there they’re two years out or 12 months out, so they try to give you Just enough to stick around and dangle that carrot a little bit, but when you really look at the numbers on paper and what you’re worth on the outside market, it doesn’t make any sense, it doesn’t make any sense to get promoted um. You know i had a number of conversations with my boss and uh and my boss’s boss and in in any normal situation i probably would have not uh ever said this type of thing, but i had a great relationship with my boss and i was like look. I don’t really want to be promoted uh here at amazon. It is not advantageous for me whatsoever.

Why I Left Amazon breakdown how Amazon pays corporate employees and why its not financially

I get a crapload, more work and responsibility. They pressure test the crap out of you and i get paid uh a slight bump in salary because what they do is they they level you up and it’s hoorah congratulations all around and then they dump a crapload, more work on you, uh and more responsibility. So you’re working even more so now, your time value of money drops and uh. On top of that, you get put at the absolute bottom of the next pay ban. So let’s say, for example, the next pay band was 300 000 a year and it went from 300 to 450 or 500 whatever it might be.

Right, um well, they’re, going to start you at 300 or 310 absolute bottom, and i don’t know why they do it. But they do and there’s no leverage you can’t you can’t do anything about it. You can’t be like no sorry uh, which you know you wish. You could do that, but you can’t you can only do that type of thing when you’re going for an external offer – and i was comparing numbers from any number of employer on the on the outside world, i can get the exact same job, title senior, product manager And get a massive raise and get new stock and get a bonus right. There’S all these pluses and i’m in the exact same role with no extra responsibilities, so um this happens to to a handful of uh tech companies, but amazon in particular seems to be really brutal about this.

I don’t know why they are uh. Well, i do know why they are uh like this, actually because they want to keep recycling the talent – and i tell people this externally, all the time i’m like i hit the four-year cliff they’re like what the hell is that like. Well, they pretty much stop paying. You well after after four years and people look at you like why on earth would they do that and um? You know it doesn’t make any sense for me, but it does make a lot of sense for the employer. Why I Left Amazon breakdown how Amazon pays corporate employees and why its not financially

They don’t want uh people to stagnate and be be at a company, for you know, 25 35 years just be complacent. It’S really easy to become complacent. In a role i mean, i think it only takes about two years for you to be in a role and your autopilot kicks in right. 80 percent of processes that you go through uh during the day are uh are brainless um. You can basically do your job in your sleep.

You know when i was at american express there were people there for 25 35 years. I could never do that uh. First of all, it makes no sense from a leverage perspective uh. I i think you constantly got to be looking for outside uh pressure testing, what you’re worth in the open market – that’s very, very important. If you’re trying to grow financially, you’ve got to make that money, so you can put it to work for you, so you can invest in things that make you some financial freedom.

That’S very important. So anyway, that’s the rant on the four-year cliff. Why i left it was advantageous for me to to go into a new organization and honestly i really enjoy the the uh. You know the mental stimulation. It’S like, i’m i’m in a role where i actually have to learn something again. Why I Left Amazon breakdown how Amazon pays corporate employees and why its not financially

I was definitely feeling in that kind of you know, two-year mark in the role that i was in because i had i had lasted four years at amazon. Well anyway, that’s all i got for you today. Hopefully you break down the four-year cliff for you. Why? I left and yeah we’ll catch you in the next video

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