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It’s not you; it’s me. Well sometimes it’s you, and other times it’s me. But wait, if I say it’s me, and it’s really you just to spare your feelings, does that cause any harm? It’s all so confusing, and these days happens more than it used to. What am I talking about again? Oh yeah, leaving your job.
I grew up in a rural community where if you are lucky enough to have a job, you hold onto it. Practically forever. Or at least until retirement, whichever came first.
So, you can imagine my confusion when I moved to San Francisco and joined the startup world to see individuals leave companies after only a few years to take on a new opportunity. This was a foreign concept to me, and still is to many outside of the startup or tech world. Why would you leave a perfectly good and stable job after you’ve only been there for such a short time? While the answer isn’t simple and most of the times the reasons cross many chasms, most departures are for a few core reasons.
Reason 1: Inspiring Mission
We are now in an age where the “why” is becoming more important than the how. What is your “why”? What problem are you trying to solve with your product and is it inspiring? This is very subjective. What is very inspirational to some, may not inspire others.
Moreover, what inspired some at the beginning of their journey in the company may not be true in the future, as your product and company evolve. There is no shortage of people that have left because they no longer believed in a mission. I am sure if you think hard enough you may know a few. Maybe you are even one of them.
Reason 2: Money
Many say that money isn’t everything. Almost every person I interview, when I ask them the range of salary that they are seeking, they become sheepish and tell me it’s more about the opportunity. While I am sure that is true in some cases, the reality is you need money to survive. Also, if you live in an area like San Francisco, where money doesn’t go very far, every little bit can mean the difference between you and living off from a Hot-N-Ready pizza all week long (you know you’ve been there).
Startups do not generally have deep pockets. Most of them do try to make up for the lower wages with equity, and other perks. However, until the company has some sort of exit, those options that you have are generally not worth anything and are not going to pay the bills.
It’s a risk-reward situation. Are you willing to live on Hot-N-Ready pizzas until those shares are worth something? If you are, the reward could potentially be substantial. However, some are not and leave the minute they receive an offer for more money.
Reason 3: Professional and Personal Growth
While startups are a breeding ground for both professional and personal …read more
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