| ||Ask HN: how do you avoid burnout and getting taken advantage of?|
92 points by jquery 2536 days ago | hide | past | web | 78 comments | favorite |
|I'm 3 years out of college. The first year my product made the CEO a million dollars while I made less than $50k in salary and 0.01% equity. Ugh. I moved to another company which paid double that, and worked like a dog (80 hours weeks) for nearly two years, and was one of the most productive engineers. One of my products helped bring in over 6 million in VC investment money. After two years I asked for a raise, and didn't receive one, being told "we can't give raises during layoffs."|
When I told them I was quitting, they offered me a giant (>25%) raise, but I couldn't stomach the thought of staying after accepting another offer, so I moved to another startup. I took my first project from $50 to $700+ daily revenue in 2 months by working 100 hours weeks. Yet because I take a modest salary, and have significant but non-founder equity (1-2%) to be vested over 4 years, I feel like I'm just making other people rich. I'm starting to become depressed. My sex life with my girlfriend has become non-existent. I dream about the rewards of hard work--I want to travel, to live the good life--but then I look at my life and see my twenties beginning to slip away, with a high likelihood of nothing but memories of hard work and my morning coffee to replace them. My company would have to be acquired for $10 million, at the very least, to make a very modest improvement to my lifestyle, and over $50 million to make any significant difference.
Am I being too impatient, or am I simply having my twenties milked by charismatic CEOs who know how to exploit eager young workers, and how can I even tell the difference? What is the best thing I can do, right now, to take control of my professional life? Is it okay to ask for more salary just two months into a position? I feel exhausted and exploited.
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