Very anxious about accepting a job offer in another startup

I’ve been out of work for about a month now. My former startup had to let go some people and I was one of them. It wasn’t a big shock to me and I left in good terms.

I took a couple weeks off to recharge and figure out what I should do next.

I was told about this opportunity from a tech recruiter I had already talked to before. I’ve had 2 interviews and within a week, they were ready to make an offer. I didn’t expect to make a decision so fast.

I like the product and the salary would be awesome. I’m simply worried about the workload. It’s a small team and I would have a senior role as a web developer. I think the CTO would be a good fit for me but I have concerns about working in such a small team.

At my last startup, overtime was a big issue for me.

I don’t have other interviews lined up but I feel like I should talk to at least another company. I’m not sure how I could do that without them losing patience with me.

BTW, I felt the same way a couple years ago before accepting my previous job. These decisions make me very anxious.

Did you tell them about your concerns?

Yes I’ve discussed concerns about the workload and how the team is staffed. The company is well funded and they are supposed to hire people in the next few months.

CTO assured me they try to maintain work-life balance. But that doesn’t do much to make my anxiety go away.

Funny I was about to post the same thing. I am in the same situation. New job. I’m worried about the work load. I start in 2 weeks and I’ve starting having panic attacks. At my last job sometimes I would have bad unproductive days and others would be good. But I was the sole developer. There were no meeting etc. This job they say there is a weekly meeting. Not sure if there are dailys or not. I’m worried going to be expected to perform every single day. I know I’m not like that.

So I know how you feel. But I don’t know what to do about it. Might start a new post to elaborate.

Right now, the way I see things, I’m telling myself there are more ‘pros’ than ‘cons’ about this job and that I will use the 3 month probation period to evaluate the company just like they will evaluate me.

I honestly hate my state of mind right now. It would be so easy to just say no and make the anxiety go away… until the next job interview.

I’m going to Dr tomorrow asking for some short term meds to help…

To help make this decision easier, try thinking about it from a different angle. Is this a job you’re willing to try out? A job, in this day and industry, is no longer a permanent thing. People are not expected to stay at a company for decades. Especially in the startup world. This job is not necessarily the last job you’ll have - it’s probably not. So, keeping in mind that this job is fleeting, is it worth your time and energy to give it a shot for a few months?

You can always leave if things get bad. If it’s too much work or stress, you can start looking for another job. That’s a real, viable option.

Also, knowing that you are sensitive to the work load going in the door means you can set limits for yourself. Tell yourself, I’m not going to with me than 40 hours a week my first two weeks and stick to it - or whatever their VERBAL expectation of your work week is. If it’s not enough time, then you can have a conversation with your manager about his perception of your performance and determine what a reasonable expectation is for both of you. Check in fit the first few months and get that feedback cycle going. And be careful about internalizing pressure based on assumptions (get verbal confirmation).


@OvercomingMyself You’re absolutely right. I always feel like i’m shackled somehow at work when I do in fact control my situation.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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Here are some articles I wrote about my experience in a terrible startup. They might help you start thinking about what a worst case scenario looks like and how you could cope with it. I hope they’re helpful. (Apologies if I have already linked these to to you)

“‘Burnout is self-inflicted’”

“My Boss Hated Me — Until I Showed Him He Was Mistaken”


The first time I thought about a job like this, I felt radical and felt like everyone was going to somehow KNOW and “see my crazy” - but they didn’t! And it was so liberating to think that I had options, a choice, that I didn’t owe a company anything for doing me the “favor” of hiring me.