Rachel, is it stupid to take a flyer on a job?
The writer, a planner, has been approached for a lob at a startup
January 18, 2013
An old friend from college has approached me with the offer of a job at a startup in which my years in media planning would be a real asset. I am happy where I am but I am tempted by the offer and the chance to work with my old friend on something that’s new and exciting. I worry about the risks, naturally. I’ve heard all the stories of startups that go bad, where everyone is put out on the street. What’s your advice? Sign me Deeply Interested
Not all the stories about startups gone bad are true, but surely enough of them are.
The risk is not just that the startup will go bust and put everyone on the street, either. Even when startups are successful, you’ll find that a lot of the original hires didn’t survive those early months, and for myriad reasons.
A startup is an idea that becomes a business, and it’s often a long, harsh road from that idea to a business that actually works. It often turns out that the new business needs skills no one anticipated before it opened its doors.
So there really are two risks, that the business will go belly up and you will be out of work, or the business will soar but you’ll be shed as a poor fit for the business once it launches.
I’m sure there are studies out there showing how many startups go bust and how many people don’t survive when a startup does succeed. There are numbers for everything these days.
But that’s neither here nor there.
There real issue is whether you are better suited for a safe, secure job, or whether by temperament you are built for high-risk ventures.
Yes, it’s all about you.
In your career you will meet countless numbers of people who always seem to be jumping from new venture to new venture, and each new venture is, to hear them tell it, the next Google or the next Facebook or whatever.
They thrive on the excitement of new ventures and seem to carry none of the scars from the various ventures they were in that went bust. They probably don’t even remember them.
Are you like those people?
Or are you more like the people sitting near you at work. For them, security is far more important than the thrill of the new, and they function best when they know their job will be there when they show up for work the next morning.
My sense from your letter is that you share more with them than with your old college friend. If that’s so, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. What really matters is the best work environment for you longer-term.
TV programming blog: All the cancellations and renewals
CBS dominates Thursday with more NCAA playoffs
Podcasting comes of age: What’s behind a recent boom
CBS renews a slew of shows, with a few missing
Best of the week: Advertisers revolt against Google
Putting a pricetag on ad fraud: $16.4 billion
Surprise: There’s one area where TV viewing is soaring
Media Life’s Digital Media Transparency Initiative
Weekend TV: Can anyone beat the UConn women?
‘Empire’ rises slightly in its return to lift Fox to first
Well now: Mobile usage is even bigger than you think
CBS, the daytime leader, leads Daytime Emmy nominations
Whoa: Almost a third of Millennials cut the cord
- Arun Kumar becomes chief data and marketing tech officer at IPG
- Jenny Campbell rises to managing director at 72andSunny
- Adam Crandall becomes director of strategy at mono
- Mark Wildman rises to EVP of partnerships at Westwood One
- Kevin Craig rises to SVP of newspaper relations at AMG/Parade
- Bill Corvalan becomes VP of West Coast partnerships at AllOver Media
- Richard Just becomes editor at The Washington Post Magazine
- Gemma Lawson rises to VP and design director at Nickelodeon
- Ashley Judd joins Epix' 'Berlin Station'
- Former NBC ad sales executive Robert Blackmore dies at age 90
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s top-rated movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s digital traffic data: December 2016
Ad sales rep for a digital-only magazine
Freelance media planner/buyer available for all markets
Wanted: Media buyer in Philadelphia
Paid social media planner wanted in Detroit
Opening for a media planner at a top OOH agency