Author Topic: Should I quit?  (Read 4685 times)

madmax

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
  • Location: Bay Area
Should I quit?
« on: November 14, 2014, 09:16:28 AM »
Work has been really stressful lately and I can't make up my mind if I should quit.

I've been working for a small startup (12 people) for eight months. The reasons that I moved here were to support a career change from a related field (software testing/tools development) to software development, which was a long time ambition. Lately, things have started to suck and I'm debating whether to move.

My pay is low compared to my peers. I figure that I can get a $60K - $90K raise by moving to a bigger company in the form of salary, stock etc. I don't think I am being compensated adequately for the risk I am taking, in the form of stock options (0.17% of a 12 person company with 7 million in funding).

The work is really stressful with daily deadlines and the CEO is a HUGE micromanager. He has let four people go since I've been here and they were all good people who were let go for having a difference of opinion with him. They were all let go without notice by locking their email accounts and escorting them out of the building. CEO lies constantly about everything and makes up fake deadlines (customer demos etc) in order to increase productivity and create a sense of urgency.

1/4th of my stock options vest in one year. Are they worth anything? I did the math and even assuming no dilution and a hypothetical sale price of $200 million for the startup, total number works out to $345K. Of course, with dilution and stock preferance, it will be way less than that. Am I missing something?

When I joined, I stupidly accepted $5K in salary in the form of a signing bonus. This will have to be repaid if I leave before one year.

I also have an extended vacation planned next year near my one year anniversary with the company (one month) which I really don't want to miss.

Should I quit? Now or next year after my one year cliff? Because of the high stress nature of the job, I feel like I would have to quit before getting another offer in order to get time off for interviewing. Getting another job should not be a problem in this economy and I have about two years of expenses saved up in cash with no debt.

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1642
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 09:24:36 AM »
If you think you can tolerate it without affecting your health much, look for another job and continue to hold onto your present job.  Being out of work sux and you don't want to take the financial and or psychological damage and possible stigma of being out of work long.  Hang in there if you can.

so.mpls

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 09:25:43 AM »
If you're honestly looking at a 60-90k salary increase by leaving - do it.  The CEO sounds terrible, and if you're able to get a high income job, why stick it out and hope to get rich if the company takes off?  Especially since you don't sound very confident that that will happen. Forking over the 5k will suck, but you'll make it up in extra salary over the next 4 months (assuming you find a job relatively soon).

pzxc

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 196
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 09:49:15 AM »
It's a lot easier to find a new job if you're not currently unemployed.  And a lot easier to get paid market rate (because you're not as desperate, you will negotiate better).

If you really don't think you will be able to interview under your current workload at your current employer, what about spending the first (or last) week of your upcoming one-month vacation looking for a new place to hang your hat?

Since you kind of pivoted your career a bit with this job (software testing -> software dev), then that means your current position is the only "experience" you have in true software development, right?  And your CEO sounds like the kind of arrogant hipster schmuck that thinks his feces doesn't have an unpleasant odor -- that means he might get pissed at you for "jumping ship" and wouldn't make a good reference.  That puts you in an even tougher spot, all the more reason to try to find a place to land *before* quitting.

But I absolutely get why that is hard -- I'm doing software dev as well (in California, dunno where you're at but it's likely as this is the epicenter of tech) -- and most of the places that are hiring want stupid things like a full-day interview etc that can be really hard to swing while you're trying to work a fulltime job at another place.  I feel your pain :(

madmax

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
  • Location: Bay Area
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2014, 06:58:30 PM »
Thanks for the replies, they are all every helpful.

frugaliknowit - I think I'm alright with regards to health, I've cut back my hours as much as I can get away with and have stopped working weekends and late nights.

so.mpls - The CEO is really a piece of work, I could fill a thread with some anecdotes. The company might do alright in the long run considering the amount of acquisitions happening left and right in this economy. I'm doubtful that I will see any benefit trickling down to me. The CEO keeps saying that he will take care of his employees and not to focus too much on equity percentage but my instinct says that it is stupid to depend on his charity.

pzxc - I'm also in California (Bay Area) as well. I'm not worries about references, I can ask any of my colleagues to put in a good word for me. But yes, this is my first real dev gig. It might be a bit hard to get exactly the kind of job that I want. I've got an interview for a contract job lined up, if it works out I should be able to come out slightly ahead in terms of finances for the next few months.

Zamboni

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2286
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 07:05:12 PM »
It sounds like you know what to do. 

I'll put in one more chime for finding another job before you quit this job.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6588
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2014, 09:11:14 PM »
It sounds like you know what to do. 

I'll put in one more chime for finding another job before you quit this job.
this

Davids

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 973
  • Location: Somewhere in the USA.
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 06:33:20 AM »
It sounds like you know what to do. 

I'll put in one more chime for finding another job before you quit this job.
Absolutely, never quit until you find a new job (or if you are already FI). It is always better to look for a new job when you are employed than when you are unemployed.

Tyler

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1138
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2014, 11:13:53 AM »
The current place sounds miserable. I'm confident you can do much better, especially in the Bay Area.

The advice to look for a new job while keeping your current one is solid. However, if your health and sanity is truly at risk, just quit now. You'll be fine.

I believe being an experienced engineer (especially SW) in the Bay Area is a special case many people elsewhere don't fully understand. I heard that three years ago the unemployment rate for SW engineers in Silicon Valley was actually negative - there were more jobs than people to fill them - and I doubt that has changed. I job-hopped (as a ME) out there a few times with and without having another job in the process, and it didn't seem to make any difference.  That actually shouldn't be surprising - the startup culture is all about stockpiling talented engineers, who are then back on the market with no job when the company most likely doesn't make it. It's no big deal.

As long as you're good and you have the financial confidence to turn down a lowball offer (either a working spouse or a nice emergency fund), you'll have no issues negotiating for another job.

Dr. Doom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
  • Age: 42
  • Location: East Coaster
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 11:52:10 AM »
The advice to look for a new job while keeping your current one is solid. However, if your health and sanity is truly at risk, just quit now. You'll be fine.

I believe being an experienced engineer (especially SW) in the Bay Area is a special case many people elsewhere don't fully understand....
It's no big deal.

+1 to the above. 

There's nothing wrong with staying until you find alt. employment, obviously, and I'd recommend it for most people.  Still, your special circumstances of location+skillset+ general economic conditions+ seeming lack of any family or dependents = probably unnecessary for you.   Just make sure you get health insurance to cover any gap via COBRA or ACA, you're legally obligated to do it, anyway.

>>When I joined, I stupidly accepted $5K in salary in the form of a signing bonus. This will have to be repaid if I leave before one year.

Don't sweat it.  5K is a drop in the bucket for a super-saver like you, and you'll easily make this money back with your salary increase at the new gig anyway, whatever it turns out to be. 

BTW, if you're a misery-loves-company kind of person, you might enjoy reading about my own startup-hell experiences.  I'm betting there's a lot of overlap with what you're going through.

madmax

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
  • Location: Bay Area
Re: Should I quit?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2014, 09:05:17 PM »
The advice to look for a new job while keeping your current one is solid. However, if your health and sanity is truly at risk, just quit now. You'll be fine.

I believe being an experienced engineer (especially SW) in the Bay Area is a special case many people elsewhere don't fully understand....
It's no big deal.

+1 to the above. 

There's nothing wrong with staying until you find alt. employment, obviously, and I'd recommend it for most people.  Still, your special circumstances of location+skillset+ general economic conditions+ seeming lack of any family or dependents = probably unnecessary for you.   Just make sure you get health insurance to cover any gap via COBRA or ACA, you're legally obligated to do it, anyway.

>>When I joined, I stupidly accepted $5K in salary in the form of a signing bonus. This will have to be repaid if I leave before one year.

Don't sweat it.  5K is a drop in the bucket for a super-saver like you, and you'll easily make this money back with your salary increase at the new gig anyway, whatever it turns out to be. 

BTW, if you're a misery-loves-company kind of person, you might enjoy reading about my own startup-hell experiences.  I'm betting there's a lot of overlap with what you're going through.

Wow, just wow! I read through your blog. Your hell was 2x worse than my hell. I can truly relate and sympathize to a lot of your story. My CEO beat your $250 gift card though - I got pizza night instead of a promised bonus. Good on you for standing up and quitting in style.