Abhinav Saxena bio photo

Abhinav Saxena

a body of clay, a mind full of play, a moment's life - that is me

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Recently, one of my friends, who works in the hiring industry, commented that I have undersold myself whole my life. I think he’s right and though more apparent reason is that I don’t know how to sell myself, to a certain extent I know the other implicit reason as well.

I am not an active job explorer. In fact, I have never been. Except for my first job at Yahoo!, for which I applied just to test myself, I have never tried finding a new job out of choice. My job hunts have always been under desperate conditions with a lot of stress. For example, last when I tried finding a job, start-up I worked for had died, I was without job, and was about to get married in a month. Obviously, I have never gotten any chance to negotiate. On the contrary, I have often accepted job offers taking a demotion in terms of role. I have also worked without any salary for months. Do I regret any of this - absolutely not.

These days, when recruiters send me mails almost on a daily basis, either I ignore them or politely decline their requests. (It’s another thing that most of them don’t know how to pitch a job - they offer challenging work without even caring to tell any other details. I often wonder, will I be asked to build a bridge, which given my fear of water, I find most challenging.) Some of my friends think of me as a fool to miss out on these opportunities, where in the race to hire so-called great talent, companies are willing to offer obnoxious salaries.

I have a small mental model or rather a small set of questions to help me decide whenever I get any half-decent job offer. How long will I be happy with my new increased salary - I think, perhaps a couple of months. Do I care about the challenging work - after having done both menial-boring and impressive-interesting work, I know very well that to get a product shipped, one has to do both kinds of work. Will I get to work with bright founders and learn from them? How many months will it take for me to start thinking of doing a start-up again? And these last two questions clear almost every confusion for me.

I am a failed entrepreneur and no, I am not proud of it. When I first took the plunge, perhaps I wanted to prove to the world, that I can do something great. Now, I want to prove it to myself. And I fear - will I be ever able to start-up again? Am I getting too comfortable of this lifestyle? I wonder - do I have it in me to be a brilliant entrepreneur? Will I be able to push myself for years without any guarantee of success? I don’t really know. Probably I never will until I try. More often than not I think I am hibernating, preparing myself for what I do next - start up.