I dropped out of school a few months ago to work at a tech startup without realising how demanding the job would be. The company culture is passion-first. I'm frequently told I'm doing great work and enjoy several perks (private office, free meals, reasonable pay). I'm the only developer that's been asked to move in (because my commute is the longest) - though everybody is working 10-12 hours a day.
Supporting the team is critical, but can such a narrow focus damage my personal career? Or is this a valuable experience in itself? Can I expect to be rewarded for this work after I've left the company (i.e. are career benefits temporary)? How long should I work at a company before asking for equity? Should I be studying independently and trying to grow my external influence instead?
E is for Edit and Elaboration
The team is tight
The company is small. Everyone is indispensable. This is a critical point in time and the company would fail if any team member were to quit now.
- Anyone with the means to do so has invested in the company
- Family and decade-long business ties
- We fire 90% of new people
How I fit in
Known to be nervous and lacking discipline but productive and with good intentions. I've noticed programmers at other companies describe some tasks as taking a week which I would be expected to complete in an hour.
- Newest permanent addition
- Only dedicated front-end developer
- Does data/marketing in spare time
This situation is temporary
Some days I'll leave an hour or so early to socialise with some objective (find an Ember developer, organise a talk..), my primary concern is that there will be more and longer high-intensity phases.
- Normally everyone works 47.5 hours a week
- Until mid-January we're working 60 hours a week (about to become 84 w/ weekends)
- Most days everyone leaves work at the same time
After seeking clarification I found this was meant only as a casual suggestion. Asked about moving into a nearby hotel temporarily to reduce commute, founder seemed to think this was a good idea.
Doormat analogies have been made, I'm not sure whether these apply as everyone in the company is making the same effort as me.
I certainly have leverage to ask for equity but am concerned using it would appear as coercion and violate the company culture. Should I expect to be offered equity?