Tips for Startup Jobseekers

Time to Jump Ship? 5 Signs You Need to Leave Your Job (and join a Startup!)

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Chris Apostolou

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  • You’re underpaid / under-incentivised

Money is definitely not the be all and end all of life…. but who’s kidding, you’ve got bills to pay. Moreover, you deserve adequate compensation for all the hard work you’ve been putting in. It’s difficult to put your all into a job when you’re not being paid adequately or your salary has stagnated, particularly when you think you deserve to be paid more (and if you’re not sure, it’s fairly easy to check!). Feeling like you’re underpaid relative to peers is clearly a pretty big motivation-killer. So if you find yourself in this situation and you can’t seem to resolve the conversation through an open conversation with your manager, then nobody will blame you for looking elsewhere. Hopefully your next job will meet your salary needs, or at least give you some stock / equity options if you join a progressive startup.

  • You’re not learning and developing

Your daily routine has become monotonous and, despite your very best efforts to get stuck in with interesting projects, you’re not really learning anything new. When this happens, it might be time to move on. If you feel stagnant, uninspired and unmotivated, look for opportunities that will help you grow and develop. This is especially important given the changing nature of the job market. In 25 years time, experts have estimated that around 47% of current jobs won’t exist, which suggests that humans will need to be more agile and adaptable than ever before. As such, it’s important to prioritise learning and development and move on from places that don’t support your growth. Jobs in startups, where you’ll often be forced to wear many hats, can certainly offer learning opportunities if you’re willing to make the move!

  • Negative Team Dynamics (NTD)

Some workplaces are incredibly toxic. Is your workplace characterised by politics, lack of accountability, aggression, competition and hostility? If so, then it might be time to move on. If you feel genuinely uncomfortable, left out and are sick and tired of the poisonous vibe… then it can be difficult to get out of bed in the morning and you might lose motivation and energy. In these instances, you should talk to the HR team before you make any rash decisions. If nothing is done to address the situation… it may be time to leave for somewhere more inclusive. Unfortunately startups can be just as prone to this as larger corporates, so do your research before you join a new team!

  • The Ship Is Sinking

Are you on the Titanic? Have you just hit an iceberg? If so, it may be time to pack up ship (pun intended) and take the first lifeboat out of there. If your company has been going through an extended period of poor performance, poor management and poor morale, it may be time for you to leave your job. Nothing’s worse than staying at a company that’s being driven into the ground and/or that you believe has terrible prospects. Jump ship while you can and join a team that more readily inspires you!

NB: most businesses (and especially ambitious startups!) go through difficult periods, so don’t just leave at the slightest whiff of trouble. Assess whether the situation is truly dire and go from there, even if it means just reaching out to your network and seeing what jobs are available.

  • You’re just generally unhappy in your job

Do you go to bed every night dreading getting up in the morning? Is Sunday evening the worst part of your week because you know you have 5 days of work ahead of you? If so, you should immediately start looking for a new job. At the end of the day, your health and happiness are the most important things. Period. If your job is making you genuinely unhappy and depressed, serious changes need to be made and you can’t be complacent. Perhaps try and get to the root of your unhappiness and see if your work can make adjustments to suit your needs. This is a great first step to explore whether the situation is salvageable – just don’t suffer in silence! And do remember, it’s important to reflect back on the positives of your previous employer when you start interviewing elsewhere and have to explain your move rationale – even if it’s really got you down, try and put a positive spin on your job as no hiring manager wants to hire in someone who seems overly negative!

#underpaid #startup #unhappy #motivation #work #career #negative #learning #developing

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