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I just got out of college and was excited to join a start up. My final year project was based on an Android application and was developed by my team and I. We developed it at home. This made me feel excited about a future in Mobile Application development. I got my degree certificate and applied for a start up nearby. I went through a tough selection process and got selected. The first week was exciting and I learnt a lot from my Team Lead. Only, to come to know that the job I got was to replace him who served 3 years at the company.

My managing director did not handle day to day operations because my Team Lead was handling it for the past 3 years. I did not go through a training period, I was expected to learn their product by myself (which I have to an extent now).

I've been here for 2 months now and I'm trying to meet my manager's expectations and here's what I have learnt:

  1. I do not feel passionate about their app/product. (it has been poorly designed over the years)
  2. My manager expects me to work over time to resolve issues and when I can't (because of the lack of experience), he asks me to wait till my former Team Lead gets off his current work and come visit and help resolve the issue. I've done this too since I like to learn but it's a pain for both parties to wait after office hours for my former team lead to show up and help me..
  3. I developed only one application for my final year project. This does not qualify me to know everything already. So I'm Googling a lot to solve issues and I don't feel this is the best way to learn.
  4. Four others who got hired at the time I joined have already been fired in about 2 week's time for the same JD over bad performances. (I'm the lone standing wolf).
  5. We work on saturdays and are allocated 30 minutes for lunch, the salary is low but I'm not in it for the money.
  6. My performance over these 2 months have been criticized recently because my manager thinks the task can be done in less time (maybe it could be) but, I don't feel I know everything yet to meet his deadlines accurately.
  7. Did I not mention? At the time of joining I did not see it but, I feel now that my manager is not approachable. Angry,short-tempered and an alpha male and my colleagues share the same opinion.
  8. I've tried to voice my concerns to my manager. He has devalued me, says I do not have what it takes. I just go back to my desk and try harder to get it done. (sometimes I have solved tasks after such conversations too).

So I would like to know: Do I ride this storm and stay here?

The reason I joined is to learn as much as I could. But the work environment here is simple not helping me achieve that. Maybe I could learn the same things at a better place. (There must be a better place than this).

The only benefit I feel is --> 2 months back I did not the things I know about this technology. At the same time, I'm unsure as the things I've learnt using the internet to solve issues is the right way to learn.

I feel if my manager was approachable enough, I'd stay here for a longer time.

closed as off-topic by Philip Kendall, David K, Dan Pichelman, Retired Codger, Chris E Aug 29 '16 at 14:31

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  • "Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?"). Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do. For more information, click here." – Philip Kendall, David K, Dan Pichelman, Retired Codger, Chris E
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    The reason I joined is to learn as much as I could. But the work environment here is simple not helping me achieve that. - so leave and find a new company that will help you achieve that. – WorkerDrone Aug 29 '16 at 12:53
  • But is this the case with all start up environments? I wouldn't know. – helloworld Aug 29 '16 at 12:56
  • I don't know all startups, and I don't know what you want to achieve. – WorkerDrone Aug 29 '16 at 13:56
  • No, adding the certificate problem you said in your comment, this is definitively not near of any startup. As said Patricia, get a duplicate of your certificate. If you can't, get a lawyer or ask on law.SE. Startup except you extra hours, it expects short deadline often so you won't have a perfect design, but you can have a totally different environment (organisation/ manager) – Walfrat Aug 29 '16 at 13:57
  • If your parents, or other relatives, are willing to support you during a job search, consider resigning without having a job lined up. The combination of employer holding certificates and working hours are going to make a job search while employed difficult. You can explain your quitting in terms of having expected to have a mentor who has left. – Patricia Shanahan Aug 29 '16 at 15:41
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Startups are often high stress. A job like yours has it's pro's and cons, no one but you can decide which outweighs the other.

Basically you can get more 'real' and varied experience in a short time than is usual elsewhere. Without a lead though, the quality is very suspect. Your boss runs the place like a king, this is fine if he has realistic expectations, not so great if he is pulling timeframes out of his nose and doesn't have a solid grasp of the tech and his hands on it.

To my mind you are in a bad position, the better at the job you get, the more that will be expected of you and I doubt a raise is on the cards for a while. Bosses like this chew through techs. So from a pure money angle it looks bad. From work satisfaction angle it looks bad, from career advancement it looks bad. You might even be used as a scapegoat to customers if the product goes sour, so from a reputation angle it looks bad.

My advice is to do some job searching quietly and hang in there doing the best you can until you find another job. 2 months is basically nothing, in many jobs you've barely got the layout of the building and remembered everyone's names and got a handle on your tasks in that time. Resigning is better than being sacked. Once you have a chance at another job, that is the time to weigh things up properly and make a decision. Don't do it now, because it's only two months, in another month or two you may have a whole different feeling about things.

  • I feel my boss has tried and tested with candidates like me for a while to replace my former team leader. He has taken my certificates at the time of joining to make sure I don't search jobs elsewhere while still at this job. He said he'd give them back to me after serving my notice of 1 month. Yes it's a bad move giving the certificates, but I never thought things would go this south while I accepted the job initially nor did I know my team lead would quit in a week's time. :( – helloworld Aug 29 '16 at 13:48
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    @Gurupreet See if you can get duplicate certificates. Regardless of the specific problems, it is very unlikely that you will work for the rest of your career at the one business, so you will need to do a job search sometime. – Patricia Shanahan Aug 29 '16 at 13:55
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    Your boss took your certificates? Sounds like India, and in my opinion a boss doing that should be shot on the spot. – gnasher729 Aug 29 '16 at 14:07
  • @gnasher729 Yes. It's Bangalore, India. – helloworld Aug 29 '16 at 14:59
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  1. My manager expects me to work over time to resolve issues and when I can't (because of the lack of experience), he asks me to wait till my former Team Lead gets off his current work and come visit and help resolve the issue. I've done this too since I like to learn but it's a pain for both parties to wait after office hours for my former team lead to show up and help me..
  2. We work on saturdays and are allocated 30 minutes for lunch, the salary is low but I'm not in it for the money.

So basically your manager is asking you for extra hours to compensate all mistakes that was done

  1. My performance over these 2 months have been criticized recently because my manager thinks the task can be done in less time (maybe it could be) but, I don't feel I know everything yet to meet his deadlines accurately.

So here he's trying to earn time by increasing an already huge technical debt ( which is very likely a concept he won't understand) as it probably was since the very beginning of the project,

  1. Did I not mention? At the time of joining I did not see it but, I feel now that my manager is not approachable. Angry,short-tempered and an alpha male and my colleagues share the same opinion.

1- I do not feel passionate about their app/product. (it has been poorly designed over the years)

You're the only one that can decide what you want from this kind of environment, there are startup like this, of course there are others which have a proper manager. Your "manager" is probably not managing anything, but just marketing the product and shouting around.

As said @Kilisi in his answer, start to search around, if you think you still have some interesting experience here to take, go for it, and leave when it's just won't be worth anymore for you. If it's already the case, search and leave.

I don't really know but if the period was really short after your studies, you could not even mention that job but i don't know if it is a good idea or if it can have some issues with laws.

2 month as "team leader" won't really worth a lot aniway for next employers

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    Your boss thinks it can be done in less time? The saying is: Every job is easy for the person who doesn't need to do it. – gnasher729 Aug 29 '16 at 14:08
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Even most startups have better structure.

There are a lot bad signs here:

  • They had high expectations of you putting you as team lead but one week of training then team lead is not adequate training
  • Took your certificates
  • You took the job to learn but are not getting training / support
  • Angry boss
  • Others fired
  • Others fired and not replaced my mean they have funding issues
  • Performance criticized

You have two options:

  • Put your head down and just do what you can do
    As long as you are the lone wolf your boss cannot (easily) fire you
    Things may turn around
  • Look for another job
  • From my reading of the OP's post, the boss is not only angry, but appears to be a bully as well. (He has devalued me, says I do not have what it takes.) in which case I'd say the only sane option is changing the boss. – Peter M Aug 29 '16 at 14:20
  • I think the reason I have competed 2 months is because I've delivered results eventually if not immediately. The others who did get fired, feared the manager and always thought about quitting rather than solving the code which was bad. – helloworld Aug 29 '16 at 14:53
  • @PeterM That is covered in performance criticized. Finding a job leaving after just two months is difficult. OP needs to decide. – paparazzo Aug 29 '16 at 14:54
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I have seen a lot of two-sided opinions for sticking through it and getting the experience, as well as starting to look for a new job.

I think that looking for a new job is the only viable option for you.

Being a software developer with similar experiences (small start-ups, alpha-type leader, team-leads leaving shortly after I start) I know that although it is great for a resume and quick experience - your overall well-being is going to slowly go down. It is a lot of stress to take up a lead role in a product, especially when people around you are getting fired so often. Not to mention - if you are disinterested in the product there is not much point in working on it. Again - speaking from experience working on such projects is monotonous and makes you less passionate about programming.

Do yourself a favor - start looking for a new job around your experience level. You will grow at a more sustainable pace and enjoy your work significantly more.

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He has devalued me, says I do not have what it takes.

He has taken my certificates at the time of joining to make sure I don't search jobs elsewhere while still at this job.

From my reading of this your boss is a bully who is trying to control you. In which case nothing you will do will ever satisfy him.

While stress is to be expected in a new job, as a new graduate and at a start-up (what a combination), there is no excuse for demeaning people like this.

I have experienced working for such people and no matter how good you are, it is still a soul destroying experience. The only recourse is to change the boss either by management replacing him or you replacing the company you work for.

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