Last June I quit my role as a Web Developer and Project Manager in a web design agency, only to join the 3beards in their mission to grow the tech community. It has been an amazing journey so far and I feel like a changed man. I wanted to outline the reasons for this move and also what impact it has had on me.
A bit of background
It was straight after I had finished my studies that I settled myself in London and started to work with the team at Top Left Design. I spent two years at the company; two years which I'm not likely to forget and during which I learnt pretty much everything I know in terms of web development (or at least I largely improved my skills and techniques). I felt very lucky to work with such a great team and to have had the opportunity to be involved in many amazing projects.
Although I sometimes found client work to be limiting or even frustrating, I enjoyed the majority of the projects I worked on, as they were always new challenges to me. After two years of using the same languages and frameworks however, I felt that I needed to move forward. I felt that I needed to broaden my skills and learn something new or different.
I met the beards - I was clean shaven
3beards were advertising for a Web Developer role which quite fitted my profile and I found this opportunity to work with them very exciting. Being a regular attendee of their events I had known the guys for quite a while, and especially Michael Hobson who I had worked with before. I really admired what they were doing for the tech community and it only made sense to me that I took part in the adventure.
I soon joined the team and became the first employee at 3beards. And by doing so I dived into the startup world.
If what 3beards do as a company is rather obscure to you, make sure you visit our website and see all the efforts we put into growing and helping the startup community in so many ways.
Living the startup life
It quickly became obvious to me that I made the right decision, for this new environment had a good impact on me. It changed me - beyond the facial hair bit which happens to be a personal choice! I constantly learn new things, I feel awesome, I listen to people more and I share more as well. I now work flexible hours and in different locations. I have room to learn new skills and I really feel that I'm playing a part in helping to grow the community.
Aside from my Web Developer role within the team, I get to do different things such as helping with events organisation and logistics. Don't be too surprised if you spot us moving crates of beer across Shoreditch now and then! Although one might think this must be annoying or even boring, I personally believe it is actually a perk. It makes everyday different and all these breaks away from a screen help me to think and to refresh my mind.
Finally I can't talk about startups without mentioning the people within the community as they are undoubtedly the key to its success. It can indeed be striking to see the ease with which people connect and share together. This is simply wonderful. The tech startup community is strong, bursting with positivity, creativity and innovation. I meet a lot of people at our events, most of whom have such interesting stories and amazing ideas. We exchange views, discuss ideas and help each other. I find this all very inspiring and stimulating.
To infinity... and beyond!
Should you ever have the opportunity to work for a startup, don't think twice and take your single ticket to a great journey. That is my one piece of advice. It is very likely that your new role will be more interesting and stimulating than any previous position. If not, you will live something different and have an experience which will probably change you in some way or another.
I can imagine that such a move can be confusing for those who come from a corporate environment for instance. However, I feel quite confident saying that they would adapt easily and quickly. Startups are designed for humans to be at their best at work. One shouldn't be afraid to change their ways, especially if the outcome is positive.