Investing (your life) in a startup

throw in the towel

When to throw in the towel

You've been working at the same company for over a year.

And things just don't feel right. This isn't the company you were excited to work for a few months ago. People are coming in later and leaving earlier. Executives are tight-lipped. Leads are drying up. All the best employees are peacing out.

You're a loyal person, but there's no need to be a martyr. You don't owe it to anyone to sink with the ship.

Should you get a job somewhere else?

It's a bigger risk to stay than leave

Are you done learning? Have you hit (or missed) all the goals you set?

Start reaching out to connections. It's time to roll.

Finding a new job sucks. No one enjoys creating a new resume. But, that shouldn't be your excuse for staying at a failing company. You only have a few opportunities to invest your time into a startup. When you realize you've made the wrong investment, time is of the utmost importance.

If you stick around for longer than you should, your reputation and overall happiness will take major blows. Move quickly so the company name on your resume helps. If you wait too long, it will hurt. If you're surrounded by people who've lost faith in the company, you'll lose your drive to work hard. The quality of your work will slip, and you might be asked to leave. You're better than that. It doesn't matter how little time you have to search for a job at the end of the work day. Your search will be 10x worse if you're doing it without a paycheck.

All the talent is leaving

Open your eyes.

You can be certain someone knows more about the company you're at than you do. Let's say, you're at a failing startup, but you've recently come from a large bank. That weird feeling you just can't put your finger is a bad sign. Decisions are being made, and you don't know whether they are good or bad. Just because things are happening a bit differently than they did at your last job, don't be obvlivious.

If all the best people are leaving, it's because they realize the time is right to get out. They don't want the good work they've done be diminished by a company that just can't get things together.

When that one guy/girl you looked up to takes a job somewhere else, treat them to a cup of coffee. After you catch up, ask some difficult questions about why they left. Take what they say to heart. It might just be the kick in the ass you need to leave, and invest your time in something better.

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