The Grass is Always Brown: Startup Job Satisfaction

From the comic
From the comic

Whenever I speak to entrepreneurs who have left the corporate rat race to pursue their own ventures, their experiences always echo my own. Sure, new small business owners expect additional flexibility, less bureaucracy and longer hours. However, those who leave the corporate world in search of greener pastures in a startup will realize that the job satisfaction trajectory between the two is very different, neither being a clear winner.

At the beginning of a corporate job, or a role within any large organization, there is a sense of pride that comes from the brand, the paycheck, and the responsibility. With time (and, of course, there are exceptions) the satisfaction decreases a bit, and plateaus out. The probability of this happening is consistently high because soon enough the reality of red tape and repetition sets in.  This is when some try to make the leap to a startup.

At the beginning of an entrepreneurial venture, the sentiment and satisfaction is uncertain and riddled with fear and budgetary constraints. The level of job satisfaction is consistently changing: variable but often in a positive trajectory. The stress often can result in more confusion and change in direction. With time there is potential to reach a high level of success and job satisfaction, but the probability of that is extremely low.

This quest for extreme job satisfaction is an #entrepreneurfail.  We all hear about the success stories and the glamour of starting a venture and the shackles of a corporate role but the irony is that neither is fully true.  The most recent count of failed startups is too high to rationally think about. However, we’re a risky bunch, so we think it’s worth a try!

Did you leave a corporate role to job a startup? How did your job satisfaction change? Which factors affected you the most: salary, time, interesting work or colleagues? Let us know in the comments below.


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