Almost 3 months ago, I said goodbye to a nice job. I had decided to join a start up. I was curious to see what business life in a startup would be, what would be the challenges, how would I behave in that environment.
3 months is not enough to make an in depth comparison between a corporate job and a start up. It is long enough to give some first impressions and answers to some questions.
There has been some comments on the work life balance. All-in-all, to me it is positive.There are a few reasons
- The work is very interesting and I feel a lot of personal commitment. I want to be part of the crew that transforms a white piece of paper into a company. I have done projects from scratch before, never from scratch in an environment where there is only a chair, table and internet connection.
- For now, we manage to deliver our sprints in line with the expectations. I am not a developer in the team. I play a mixed role of product owner and scrum master (sorry for the tech terms: to make a long story very short, the business analyst and IT project manager). The team gets along very well, we respect each other. We get enough freedom from the management and we all appreciate the feedback cycles we have in place.
- Commuting by bike and train removes a lot of stress compared to a car commute. Time wise, it is the same: roughly 45 minutes. Stress wise… can’t compare! I get a lot of energy from taking the bike in the morning, from biking home in the evening and following my favourite blogs in the train. A WIN here as well.
- Working hours are comparable to my previous corporate jobs when I had similar roles. Add to that the freedom to work from home from time to time.
To me, work life balance has gained in favour of life.
Adapting to a lower pay check also goes fine, at least, in the day-2-day life. As we lived below our means before, nothing has changed here. We have decided to keep our monthly budget the same. As a result, the difference happens with the saving and investing. Yes, this is lower than before. Yes, this will impact our FIRE date. The journey is still long. And the habits you get while working towards FIRE are maybe more important that the goal itself. My vision is also changing. Early retirement might not be the goal. Living the ideal life now until forever sounds much more appealing to me.
A little note to end
What is clearly different is my experience vs the experience of the 2 founders. As we work closely together, in the same room, I can see that they have far more to learn and discover than me. They have also more on the line than I have. More risk and more upside potential. That is sure. Kudos to all entrepreneurs out there that take the step to start a new business.