Saturday, December 3, 2022 | 11:19 am

A Job With Netflix Would Be the ‘Big Tech Dream’, but Not for Michael Lin. Here’s Why

A Job With Netflix Would Be the ‘Big Tech Dream’, but Not for Michael Lin. Here’s Why
A Job With Netflix Would Be the ‘Big Tech Dream’, but Not for Michael Lin. Here’s Why

You would think a ₹3.5 crore job at Netflix would be the Big Tech dream come true, the ultimate achievement.

But not for Michael Lin!

Boredom could grasp you even when you don’t have to think about the next meal or the pending credit card bill.

Michael Lin joined the OTT platform Netflix company as an engineer in the United States. He used to earn ₹3.5 crores a year.

He joined Netflix as a senior software engineer in 2017 after he quit his job at Amazon. “At the time, I thought I would stay with Netflix forever,” he wrote on LinkedIn.

“I made $450,000 a year (about ₹3.5 crores), got free food daily, and had unlimited paid time off. It was the Big Tech dream.”

However, all the lure of the Netflix job could not keep him there forever. He quit in 2021. Everyone thought he is crazy.

“My parents were the first to object. For them, my quitting was throwing away their hard work of immigrating to the US,” Lin said. “My mentor was the second to object. He said I shouldn’t quit without another job lined up because I’d miss out on leveraging my high salary when negotiating my pay at the next job.”

His parents’ objection made him rethink. But not for long. Three days later he spoke to his manager about quitting.

“Working at Netflix was like getting paid to work on case studies you learn about in MBA programs. They made the memos for every product decision available for all employees to read, and I learned so much every day,” he said.

However, the Covid pandemic had different plans for his future at the organisation.

Everything that he liked about Netflix, started to wear off- the socializing, the coworkers, the perks. “The only thing left was the work itself, and I didn’t enjoy the work anymore,” he said.

“I wanted to have a bigger effect. For me, deciding how to allocate engineering resources was more relevant to my career goals than the engineering work itself, and I wanted to transition into product management to lead these efforts.”

Following this, Lin started applying for every product-manager role he laid his eyes on within the company. However, nothing worked out because Netflix is not flexible about horizontal role changes, he claimed. He tried his hand at this for two straight years.

“I’ve never seen an engineer successfully transition to product management at the company,” Lin added.”

“Now that transitioning into the product-manager role was out of the question, my high salary felt like an increasingly bad deal. When I started at Netflix, I was making money and continuously learning new things. Now, I was just making money, with no career progression.”

The growing boredom took a toll on Lin, which was reflected in his performance. The last job review in April 2021 asked him to pull himself together if he wanted to keep the job.

He quit two weeks later.

Lin was afraid that the move would affect his career and social life but, the opposite happened. he started his own business and claims he met more people through this.

“I’ve met more people through starting my own business — other entrepreneurs, writers, and creators,” he said.

“It’s been eight months since I quit my job at Netflix, and I’ve decided to commit fully to working for myself,” Lin said. “Although I’m just starting and don’t have any dependable streams of income yet, I’m going to trust the process that if I do work that energizes me, good things will happen.”