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Why I Quit a $450k Engineering Job at Netflix

Playing it safe is the riskiest choice of all.

Ithought I was going to stay at Netflix forever. Top of market pay. Freedom and responsibility. Unlimited PTO. What more could you ask for?

So when I quit Netflix in May 2021, everyone thought I was crazy. My parents objected first. Coming from cultural revolution China where they barely had enough food to eat, they thought I was throwing away all the hard work they went through to come to America.

“Just keep your head down and do the work!” they said.

“Don’t be ungrateful for what you have!” they said.

None of my friends could believe it either.

“But the free food!”


“Just rest and vest bro!”

The only argument I heard against quitting that made me slightly pause was from my mentor at Netflix. He said I shouldn’t quit without another job lined up, because “I’d give up the leverage I had with my high salary at Netflix.”

That made me pause for all of 3 days, but I quit anyways. Now 8 months later, I am 100% certain this was the right decision.

In this article, I discuss the 3 factors that helped me understand the real cost of golden handcuffs, and why even a half-million dollar salary a year couldn’t get me to stay at a job I no longer enjoyed.

Full Article: Michael Lin @ Medium