Living the Startup Life

4 min read

Living the Startup Life

Working at a startup has always been intriguing for me.

Intense, fulfilling and fun!

That summarizes my experience since I decided to try something new, exciting and horrifying all at the same time.

Looking back, I did give all I have to live the corporate dream. I remember the vicious battles for improved salaries and compensation packages. Sleepless nights to keep up with the race for promotions. I could never endure the trials climbing the top of the corporate ladder.

I woke up one day realizing, the corporate dream was not for me. I wrote this article as an attempt to tell a story about my startup journey. I had never looked back ever since I left my previous job from a well-established company, until now.

Intense

I currently work as a Software Developer and did join the team as employee number 12. The first thing to know about working for a startup is that things move fast.

All forms of pressure came as early as, my first week on the job. I did not expect things to be intense that fast. There were days I wanted to quit. I often question myself if this is what I have always wanted. Will I ever make it through?

Everything is difficult until you know how to do it.

Every day I come to work, I see people that are profoundly passionate about the work they do. Not for self-indulgent reasons but because they believe at a cause bigger than themselves. That is one reason that kept me sane during hard times. The feeling of being united as a team always gets me fired up.

Be prepared to wear multiple hats.

I write code most of the time. The rest I spend testing our product. I also write automated tests from time to time and make UI/UX design changes if needed.

I don't mind learning new things. But to learn under pressure is another thing. One wrong move, I will spend my weekend fixing/undoing mistakes.

There will be late nights at work. OT-TY, as we all know it. Working for a startup may often be hard but despite the intensity, there will be good days.

Fulfilling

Life has never been always easy. Stress and pressure at work can get out of control. We just have to keep moving forward.

When something is important enough, do it even if the odds are not in your favor. - Elon Musk

Looking back, a lot of stuff used to be intimidating and scary.

My point is life will get better. Some things will take time. We can't let our impatience keep us from achieving great things.

Thankfully I did make it through my first few months. Seeing our product come to life bits by bits makes me feel proud. There is still a long road ahead for our product to reach several people. The future where I am a part of something that would improve the lives of the Filipino will be a dream come true. I have to be there at the end of the finish line.

Fun

No more mandatory 'with-collar' outfits. Wear any clothes you fancy. Just make sure you don't forget to shower before going to work. 🤪

I no longer have to count if I still have vacation/sick leaves. Working for a startup has entitled me unlimited vacation time! 🎉When I say unlimited vacation, it does not mean I don't have to do work ever again. The perk is especially useful for emergencies. Specially emergencies that would take a while before I can back to work.

Special mention for the beers in the fridge! We do have our happy hours inside the office.

I'm not saying everyone should work in a startup, but I highly recommend everyone should at least give it a try.

Purpose is that feeling that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. - Mark Zuckerberg

Taking the leap of faith to join startups gave me a sense of purpose and happiness.

It made me trust my guts.

It made me better than who I am before.