Jump from the Sinking Ship: When Should You Leave a Startup?

If you are currently working for a startup, there are good chances that similar question has ever crossed your mind: How long will you stay there? Are you sure the startup has a promising future if you stay?

Before joining a startup team, you must have understood the consequences you will have to face from making the decision. You know that with a shoestring budget as well as untested business planning and marketing strategies, these challenges often make startups unstable and ends up tumbling down amidst fierce competition still dominated by giant established players. By knowing all these common startup challenges before accepting a job offer from a startup, you can expect what you have to deal with during the journey.

However, what if after joining a startup and exploring the #startuplife for certain period of time, you find yourself start to doubt your decision? Be it the company culture, work environment, boss, coworkers, or the nature of the business itself, you no longer feel that you are fit in with the startup you are currently working at. Before deciding to turn in your resignation letter, you should consider whether you can improve the whole situation, or there really is no other way but to move on.

Here are some warning signs to tell when you need to leave a startup and start over your career in the greener grass:

  1. You don’t believe in your CEO

How can you work for someone you no longer trust? In order to build a solid teamwork, a CEO must be able to demonstrate strong leadership skills to his employees. When you feel that the founder is incompetent in carrying out his role as a leader and makes you uncomfortable working under his directions, then this is the right time to move on.

  1. Business goals are unclear

You know that success is not something instant, but needs a long process. However, after years of joining a startup, you feel that you just move in the same place without making significant growth and profitability. When you feel that the company’s business goals are unclear and even unrealistic, it is a good idea to confront with your employer about the matters. If he does not show positive signs to change the company’s roadmap, then maybe this is a sign for you to leave for good.

  1. Same problems keep coming

A startup faces various types of problems and challenges every day. It becomes an issue when the same problem occurs over and over without a practical and effective solution to solve it. This shows that there is something wrong with the team that makes them unable to function optimally so that a small problem can become bigger if they are ignored.

  1. The company culture is toxic

Your coworkers keep coming late to work but your boss does not seem care about it, or your teammate takes credits for your work but your boss seems oblivious about it. Working at a company with toxic culture is not only dangerous for your mental health, but also negatively impacts on your physical health. You should run from such environment while you still have a chance.

  1. Coworkers are slacking off

Lack of motivation often leads to laziness. When a project fails or goals are missed frequently, this can be a sign that there is a serious problem in your startup system. When you find that your coworkers are slacking off so that you are the only one who is pulling their weight, then you should assess the situation and find a way to fix the issue. However, if repeating failures are tolerated, resigning from the team can be the best decision.

  1. Productivity is suffering

Regardless of the company you are working at, procrastination is never a good habit to develop. If you have a mentality that delaying a job for online shopping or being unproductive from time to time is not a big problem, then you might have lost your muse in that company.

  1. You’re not gaining new skills

When was the last time you learned a new skill or tried a new technology? If you do not even remember the last time you updated your knowledge in the business field because your startup did not give you the opportunity, then it is the best time for you to move on.

Read also: Launching a Startup While Working Full-time, Why Not?