Startup: Why and How I Quit

Startup: Why and How I Quit

I was working for a startup, but something happened, and I quit.

As many of you know, I worked for five different tech companies. There was one startup that I genuinely believed in and even rejected a high-paying job to help build the impossible.

When I joined this startup, I built something unique using all the things I’ve learned in four years as a developer. I was able to take all of my experience and apply it by helping build this startup.

I was able to do what I genuinely believed in.

I worked my butt off. I mean, I worked 60-80hrs a week trying to code what they needed within a tight deadline. However, something, unfortunately, happened, and I am no longer working with that startup. Frankly, I quit on the spot.

What sucks is I loved this startup. I believed in what they were doing, and it was terrific working with most of the team. I got along with the leadership, but unfortunately, one of my colleagues became very toxic. It was so bad to the point that this person would talk down on me often.

After a few months, I realized that I could no longer work with this person.

Then, during a Zoom startup meeting, this person yelled at me in front of everyone. I was so shocked at what happened that I just asked:

“Are you seriously yelling at me in front of everyone right now?”

After I left the Zoom call, the people at the meeting sent me messages comforting me that this person should not have done that and this person had better apologize to me.

In fact, because of this person’s toxic attitude, many other people began having thoughts of leaving as well. Unfortunately, not all of them were developers, so they didn't have as many options.

This person tried to contact me right after, but I kept rejecting their calls until one time, I finally answered. They called me to apologize, saying that they should never have raised their voice at me. I told him that it was okay, but I wasn’t going to be working with this startup anymore. I quit on the spot.

This person snapped and started yelling at me again, this time telling me that I was the problem because I wouldn’t listen and I didn’t take ownership. I was shocked because I took ownership and moved across the country to work hard for this startup.

I moved across the country to an isolated small town (despite my major depression) because I believe in this. I rejected a job in Silicon Valley that would pay me over a hundred thousand dollars a year. I rejected that to come to the middle of nowhere.

I did it because I believed in the startup, and I respected the CEO. Even after I left, the CEO and I are still good friends because I respected him, and he respected me. I just couldn’t work with that culture, so I left.

But, you know what’s so interesting? I quit on that day with no plan whatsoever. But then, I was still at peace.

I just knew another opportunity would come.

I knew I wasn’t the best developer out there, but for some reason, I knew I’d find another opportunity, or it would find me. I don’t join a startup just for the money because building something I believed in was far more important.

This is who I am as a person, and it is why I’m still in love with coding. I never became a developer to become rich. I loved it. I never did Youtube or created Developer Branded for the money; it was my passion.

I did it because I love building things, and I loved what I did.

The opportunity for a new job finally came when I tweeted something on Twitter. I tweeted that I quit my job, and I wasn’t going to allow anybody to yell at me and mistreat me like that. It went viral and reached other platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram.

With that reach, a lot of companies also reached out to me and wanted to interview, but the thing is, I didn’t want to work for just anyone.

I wanted to work for someone and something I believe in and I’m passionate about.

While the tweet was going viral, someone reached out to me on Twitter. This person agreed that what happened to me wasn’t right and supported my decision. Then, he told me that there was an opportunity for me to work in his team.

I’m going to be honest and say that I thought this job was something that never existed. I thought it was a scam, haha. But, if it were real, It would allow me to continue building my brand and pretty much continue creating content, but this time is paid very well for it.

This opportunity was the type that could change my life after everything I’ve been through. I’m going to make more money than I ever have, and I’m going to make it while doing what I love.

Just keep going, and life’s going to be okay.

I am very optimistic when it comes to creating content and doing things that I love, but at the same time, I am also negative (surprise, right?). I doubt myself a lot. And I mean a lot. That’s why I create so much positive content. Yes, it’s to help others. But more importantly, it’s to help me fight the self-doubts I have daily.

Every single day, I keep reminding myself about everything I’ve been through just to make it here. I don’t deserve this; I don’t deserve to be where I am right now. I am not the best developer; I often think I’m the worst. Too many times, I’ve told myself that I’m the worst developer out there.

However, if an opportunity comes up, I’m not just going to let it pass by. I’m going to take it.

And I’m going to work my ass off and keep going.

If I don’t give up and keep going forward, I know life will be okay. That’s the message that I want you all to understand while reading this.

It’s going to be hard, but I promise you that life’s going to be okay, and it will keep getting better if you keep going.

Chris Sean
Developer Relations Engineer | New Relic

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