Leaping from corporate, where your world is comfortable, is tough to do.  I had a dinner with former colleagues recently and I asked one if he felt challenged at work and if he was learning, he became very tense and rigidly responded, “No comment.”  Apparently I hit a nerve, but I had not seen this crew in what felt like years.  

If you do not like what you do or do not like your team, it might be time to find a place that is for you.  

Before you take the leap, remember the grass is always greener on the other side so make sure you are ready for some real life changes. 
Consider

  • You may not have health insurance 
    • If you do have insurance, it may not be the best for a long time.  You might wonder what an HDHP is and how it could compete with an HMO.  Needless to say, you will learn about how broken the health insurance system is in this country.   
  • Corporate match to your 401K is non-existent 
  • Salary will vary depending on your function and the stage of the company (includes team size, funding history, etc.)  In general, expect a pay cut and do your research of what is considered market.   
Explore Your Options
  • Find out as much as you can about the company
    • Use your linkedIn and source your network for introductions to people who work there.
  • Go to Meetups and network often learn about the industry
  • Take classes to acquire skills to round out your resume and see if the work is to your interest
What to look for in a role
If you are making a big leap, then make sure the next opportunity has
  • Fun Challenges 
  • Growth Opportunities
  • Great team 
    • Sometimes we need to take roles to get some experience before finding the better team fit, but know what works for you!
Where to find these jobs
There are many more in each of the categories listed, but this is to get you started.  As with most things, the opportunity is what you make it. 
VC Firms and Accelerators
Job Listing Sites
Community Pages or Newsletters
Image source: http://alidavies.com/; https://fiveoclockclub.com
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