A position in a US National laboratory vs a early stage up ?

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bhaav

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BIO
Software developer with 3yoe
bhaavmore
Jun 5 18 Comments

I am little confused on which offer to finalize.
I have an offer from a national lab with 75k base salary with additional benefits of working in laboratories. On the other hand, I have another offer from a early stage startup. They are give me 120k + 20% yearly bonus.

National lab has stability and peace of mind, but I am not getting the technology I want to work on. Moreover, it has low pay scale.

Early stage startup has all that in which I want to work on. High salary. High bonuses better city.

I am turning 30 late this year and I am fiddling between these option now.

Based on the locations they are situated in, and after calculating yearly burn our rate. I am saving approx. 30k or more a year if I work for national lab vs saving approx. 42k or more a year with the startup up excluding year end bonus.

Could any help me based on their experiences?

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TOP 18 Comments
  • Twitch / Data select *
    Figure out how the start up is funded and where in the funding cycle it is in. Also figure out how cyclical the industry is. Last figure out how fast the startup can grow.

    Basically, I feel that there's about another year left before a recession where funding dries up and unemployment goes up. If your stsrt up is well funded and has 2 years plus run way, go for it. Otherwise, do proper diligence before you jump
    Jun 5 14
    • Twitch / Data select *
      My question to you would be, why would you be incentivized to work hard for the start up? You have no skin in the game. If they do well, you get rewarded nothing for the risk you're taking here. And if they flop, you lose your job and have nothing to show for it as you'll have no brand name to talk of on your cv as the company is gone
      Jun 5
    • New / Data
      bhaav

      New Data

      BIO
      Software developer with 3yoe
      bhaavmore
      OP
      Got it. Make sense completely. But, since I have only 2 option either national lab or this startup. Either I should stick to it or chuck it. If I add the year end bonus then this startup is paying me above average since no early stage pays that much, Later stage startups could but not early stage in that area. I haven't seen such pattern of not offering equity. So, I don't know the reason why didn't they offered me?
      Jun 5
    • New / Data
      bhaav

      New Data

      BIO
      Software developer with 3yoe
      bhaavmore
      OP
      I didn't get your point "if I were you, I would..." did you suggest me to accept the startup now and get better much better offer soon and switch?
      Or something else.
      I would especially like to thank you for helping and giving more insight into why to work for a startup?
      I would be better prepared
      Jun 5
    • Twitch / Data select *
      I have no idea what your start up does so who am I to give shitty advice.

      Usually, I am in the camp of always go for the start up because the experience tends to be a lot more rewarding and the learning a lot better.

      But the yield curve has just inverted and it does feel like the funding cycle is in late stage... So I'm not sure. If it's not a passion project, I might stick with the safer route, but who knows.

      In either case, you should see if you can get more offers before you accept. Call companies and tell them you have exploding offers, usually they would expedite the interview process for you
      Jun 5
    • New / Data
      bhaav

      New Data

      BIO
      Software developer with 3yoe
      bhaavmore
      OP
      Ok thank you for your advice, it was really helpful
      Jun 5

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