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Omar Hussain
Omar Hussain

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Startups and freelancing

If you have joined a startup or thinking of joining one and don't know much about the startup world, then this little advice is for you. Beware co-founders... :) This is for start-up employees strictly.
We hear all the time on internet news about startups that got funded in millions. What we don't hear are the hundreds of startups that tried and did not quite make it. There are many reasons for a startup for fail.

  1. An idea that does not solve a real world problem.
  2. An idea that has a temporary value.
  3. A team incapable of executing the idea.
  4. Incorrect approach to solving a problem.
  5. Overspending

and the list goes on...

Chances are that you are joining a startup because of an incentive either in form of better salary or an equity. There is a higher risk involved and it makes sense to be compensated better than a similar position at an established organization.

So, I learned this the hard way, when I joined a startup for a good compensation and dropped all side projects, part-time work because I thought now I didn't need to. Six months into the job, the startup burnt all the cash and I was without work and money. The idea isn't to do lesser at your full-time job, but it is of having a side income, in case things don't work out well for the startup. Do the following in order to make your finances safe:

  1. Stay in touch with old employers, clients at good terms.
  2. Keep working on small side project and maintain a steady pipeline of work.
  3. Keep learning.
  4. Know your capacity.

Top comments (3)

rhymes profile image

I worked for three early stage startups in my career and I literally had no time to do anything else other than work there. I barely had time to go grocery shopping or see friends. I definitely did not have time for side projects...

On the contrary, when I worked at 9 to 5 job in an established company I could have freelanced on the side if I wanted to :D

It probably depends on which kind of startup you join but there's often an implicit (and explicit) agreement that you might not have a job in a year or less because as you said, most startups fail.

Side income, if you can keep it up, is a good strategy though

satansly profile image
Omar Hussain

Agree with you on the level of commitment required on startups but those kind of hours mostly involve the co-founders. An employee however has different stakes in it, and should have a sane working routine. Also agree on 9-5 routine in established companies, they struggle to keep you busy even in normal work hours :D

rhymes profile image

Agreed on the should but in my experience is not always like that, unless you join a startup later in the game. Well, I might have just been unlucky 🤣

Regarding corporate jobs and busyness, yeah, it definitely happens to have nothing to do or down moments. After all the 8 hours work day repeated five times a week is a fictional concept we all agree upon and also quite recent in the history of mankind. It can't be the right formula for every company and every employee. Fortunately one can have side hustles now 😛