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mests's avatar

Do I choose a big company or a startup to start a new life in another country?

Asked by mests (49points) 1 month ago

I am a single, 27M, software engineer, and I’ve been living a normal stable life in my developing country. I worked for 2 different startups since my graduation, and for the last year and a half I have been employed in one of the country’s well-established big corporates.

However, it has been always my dream to unfortunately live somewhere else, hoping to find a better quality of life and gain more freedom.

Last week I landed 2 job offers – one for a 10 year old startup in Berlin with 200 people. And another offer for a very well known company in Rotterdam with over 6000 employees.

The startup is offering me a senior title with 20K EUR more pay. Both are offering decent benefits as well as good relocation support and packages.

My mind and heart are torn apart knowing I am about to make a decision that could completely shift the course of my life. I cannot help but think it’s more logical to join the big company, but my first feeling is that I want to join the startup, I want to take the risk if it exists, I am also greedy for the money and the title, and I even feel I will enjoy life in Berlin a bit more than Rotterdam.

How would you approach this decision making process? I have not been able to sleep from all the overthinking. Please help.

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16 Answers

janbb's avatar

A 10 year old startup with 200 employees doesn’t sound like a very risky proposition to me. It seems like they’ve established themselves reasonably well. And you’re 27 and single so no dependents. I would go for the job that excites you the most – and the city that excites you the most. Seems like potentially a win-win. This won’t be the last job you’ll ever have.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

You might need a work visa to work in another country. Also you would have to qualify to become an immigrant.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s not really your choice, since there are many regulations in many countries.
My son bought a business in Ireland only to find out he needed to get his own license and it would take years, if ever.

mests's avatar

Thank you for all the answers,

I would like to note that both companies have dedicated teams who help with the Visa process.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I assume both companies are in relatively the same business. If yes, then divide the company sales by the number of employees. That number should be around $200,000 to $800,000 or above if they are a profitable business. If they manufacture products, figure the lower end of the band. If they are all software and services figure the higher end.
Since you are young with few obligations this will be the best time to try something risky.
Good luck! These are exciting times!

SavoirFaire's avatar

Age 27 is a great time to follow your heart and take risks. You have a strong work history, and either of these jobs would add to that. Yes, the startup might not work out. But there’s a very good chance you would be able to get a safe job if that happens. And if the startup does work out, then you’ve gotten everything you want. So I would recommend taking the job you want (as long as it passes the test that @LuckyGuy mentioned).

mests's avatar

Thank you so much for the answers again, but there’s once thing I don’t get, @SavoirFaire – about having a very good chance to get a safe job if the startup blows up. Where does this good chance come from you mean?

Also I’m not that good with numbers but it says they’re making around $10M of revenue, with 150–200 employees. They produce software only. How does this sound?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Because you’re young, take the job at the startup. In developed countries, it’s easier to find a new job if something bad happens to that job.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@mests Assuming 175 employees, $10M of revenue is only $57,000 per employee. That does not sound good for long term profitability and the ability to pay wages. Could it be $100M?
Ask about it in the interview. Go in with your eyes open!

mests's avatar

@LuckyGuy Unfortunately it says $10M only. Some other website says $20M.
I have already passed my interviews, and finally signed the contract today…

Not sure how come I missed this part…

canidmajor's avatar

You’ll do well, and help the company grow. You are young enough to be flexible about these things, and the extra experience, across international lines, will stand you in good stead. Trust your instincts, you signed the contract, move forward with confidence.

Good luck with this!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Congratulations @mests !
You’ll help push them to the $100M goal! Great!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@mests The reason I say you have a very good chance of getting a safe job if the startup blows up is that you have a strong work history for someone your age, and the new startup job will only make that stronger. You are also moving to a place where your industry is growing. There are no guarantees in life, but I think the risk is worth it.

I am also someone who took a risk in my mid-20s and changed my entire life. It hasn’t always gone as I expected, but I’ve never regretted it.

mests's avatar

Awesome answers and great community. I only found out about this website yesterday but I am so grateful for everyone who took the time to read and reply to the thread.

Thank you for all the support.

omtatsat's avatar

@mests “always my dream to unfortunately live somewhere else”. First explain what that is supposed to mean.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@omtatsat It means that English isn’t their first language and/or that autocorrect changed the word “ultimately” to “unfortunately.” These things happen.

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