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Bloom and thrive: exploring which garden you want to grow in (big tech vs. startups vs. entrepreneurship)Featured

“When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” -Alexander Den Heijer

When was the last time you felt stuck, dissatisfied, and did not find your current workplace environment conducive to your professional and personal growth?

As a 34 year old woman in tech working for the last 12 years, it’s taken me a while to better understand which type of workplace environment allows me to bloom and thrive. In some ways, I’ve been a career goldilocks, trying my best to see what’s not working both internally and externally. Worked at big Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Snap, Meta? Check. Worked at venture-backed startups? Check. Tried my hand at several entrepreneurial projects? Check check check.

I’ve lived several lives by choosing to pivot into different tech functions, different workplace environments, even different employment types. After much trial and error, I found the most perfect balance of workplace environment I’ve been wanting all along - being a product marketing consultant at a Fortune 500 company specializing in immersive technology as well as helping other people find clarity in their personal and professional life as a career development & business coach.

While I saw myself hopping in and out, I’ve also noticed in parallel several women in my life taking the less risky path and leaning towards not making drastic changes in their career and lifestyle, even when they do not find their environment a good fit. And I know there are more women out there who may appreciate a little nudge of courage and candid information that can be helpful in finding a workplace that is most compatible with their personality, pace, ambition, strengths, and desired lifestyle.

I’ve lived and worked through various environments, from big tech to startups to entrepreneurship, so you wouldn’t necessarily have to! Let’s assess 3 different workplace sizes and options you can consider for your next career leap that will be in most alignment with your authentic self.

Big Tech/Fortune 500:

Safest and most “cushy” current bet, but may need to play the game to advance with rewards based on your specialization and high EQ.

Venture-backed startups:

Mid-sized & calculated risk, ability to explore both laterally and vertically across functions and advance quicker as the company grows. Delaying today’s optimal financial package for a potential bigger upside in the future.

Entrepreneurship:

You are your own boss - radical accountability in all things success and failure. True ownership, ability to chart your course. No risk, no reward.

Whether you’ve been delaying the possibility of trying something new or wondering if the risk is worth taking in this life chapter, I hope weighing out the pros and cons helps you better align yourself with longer-term career aspirations and dreams.

Sending you positive energy and future success,

Janet

P.S. Not sure if you’re ready for your next career transition? Take this quiz, and let’s see what your next steps may look like for you!

Love this breakdown & approach to thinking about the type of organization that works best for you โ€” such important criteria to consider!
I've tried all of these as well and found I operate best somewhere between venture-backed startups and entrepreneurship: I'm a partnership (or small startup team) kind of person. Separate from that - I have been starting to think I could benefit from a career coach. Especially one that gets that "entrepreneurship" preference and has experience in what I'm pivoting into. I signed up for BetterHelp a few months back and two sessions in realized they didn't provide what it is I'm looking for at this juncture. Checking out your website now!