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Conversation With A PHP Developer... Should I Take The Startup Job?

A PHP developer I met this spring at sent me an email wondering about a job offer they received and wanted to walk through it with me.

I know they had been thinking about an employer change for months wanting to get into the startup world and always stopped from taking the leap for one reason...

Risk

I get that concern, I really do.

It can be very scary to jump from a large, mostly stable employer (if there is such a thing) to work in a young company (the company, not the people), without customers (likely), that has funding (seed capital) for 9 months (yikes) and little to any benefits (whoa).

We went through a long list of things to consider:

- Salary

- Company culture (what there is of it)

- Experience of the Founders

- Seed capital and who the investors are

- Product

- Customers and revenue

- Career path

- Technology stack used

A few are missing in this scenario... they did not matter much:

- Benefits

- Location

- Title

We went through some things at home:

- Spouse works and their post tax income does cover the monthly expenses

- Benefits are already through the spouse

- Strong support for the developer to “live on the edge” and give it a shot

In the end the developer did not accept the offer... not the right place for them. There was a “feeling” they had that could not be shaken. Nothing specific and nothing that could be fixed.

I agreed.

They did start working 15 -20 hours a week (nights and weekends) as a contractor with a different startup.

They are 45 days into this arrangement and the startup has a reliable, talented developer and the developer is getting used to startup life, keeping the “stable” day job for now and networking in the startup community.

A win - win for both.

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