OK so here’s my problem. I’m three months in to a position at a startup, and their financing situation changed dramatically. There isn’t much runway left. They’ve downsized, but as usual, while downsizing was helpful to the cash problem, it created the usual residual problems from having fewer people, taking a hit on morale, and the management re-org. In the past I’ve been happy to ride it out, but there are a few hitches now.
1) I have a wife and kids now, so I can’t afford to just float for a month after we go off the end of the runway. EDIT: plus there’s COBRA, and if the doors close without any severance, then I’m *really* going to take it in the nuts on healthcare.
2) While the salary is good, the benefits are extremely poor. I’m paying a lot — and I mean a lot — out of pocket for health insurance.
3) (maybe #1) The architect who I came over to work went with the downsizing, so rather than working with a really bright, visionary-level guy, there’s just nothing that spectacular or interesting about the current technical team. (Actually “not spectacular” is kind of a euphemism for a small shop that’s been doing maintenance work on an older Ruby system for the last few years, if you get my drift….)
So the upshot is that I knew I was taking a risk coming to a smaller company, but the game has changed considerably. The innovative edge I came here for is gone, the benefits are bad, and there’s no security.
But it’s only been three months! Can I start looking now, or do I have to just sit tight and ride it out?
Part of me says that I’m really making my next employer pay the price for foolish loyalty — by continuing to work on a product that is most likely not going to go forward past this summer, I’m spinning my wheels and not helping my eventual employer to be successful with their big, innovative initiative.
Another part of me dies every time I think about the money I’m paying out of pocket for benefits.
Another part of me grieves for the opportunity I thought I was getting to work with really ground-breaking, innovative technology.
But I also recognize the realities of the job market, and what my next employer will be looking for.