I'm a developer in my mid-twenties.
About a year ago, I accepted a CTO position with an early-stage tech startup. The position is completely unpaid, I receive a 10% equity stake in the company.
I was in between jobs at that time and figured that maybe the position could help me fill the employment gap on my resume and make it easier for me to transition into more senior/management-level roles.
At first, I was really motivated and excited. But lately, I just can't find anything to motivate me. I highly doubt that this startup is going to take off anytime soon and I'm sick of working for free. My priorities have changed. I want money.
I've been looking for "real", paying programming jobs. The first thing interviewers ask me is how, if, and why I intend to step down from my CTO position at my current startup. They're never satisfied by the answers I give and it's cost me every single job I've interviewed for so far.
To make matters worse, I've putting such little effort into the startup recently that I don't know if I could even ask my cofounders for a reference.