How I lost my job because of a business development mistake

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

As some of you may know already, I recently moved to Budapest. Worked my ass off to get there, left my apartment in Bucharest with amazing housemates. Packed my stuff and left.

Since then of course, I’ve had ups and downs, but looking back I could only remember the goods. I am generally the kind of person that would do anything and everything for the job/ project I am working on. And I believe I did.

Therefore, as I had to come back to Romania for a month, I carefully discussed with my boss what I had to do during the time I’m out of the office and what is the plan when I come back. We both left happy after the discussion.

What happened recently is that I was announced that the company changed their business development plan and that I am no longer needed. The business development plan they didnt have until now, even though I’ve been working for them for about 6 months.

What I don’t understand is why some companies, not this one in particular, but in general, don’t have an action plan, KPIs set, why some people keep blaming their mistakes on being a startup, as if this umbrella is going to cover all the things they don’t know and don’t read about, and why, even if I’ve been working for about 3 years already, I’m still being treated as a student.

I would really like to understand why founders and CEOs in some startups, have no clue what they’re doing and are acting totally unprofessional. I do believe I have a lot of knowledge to bring to any company in terms of marketing, content creation or company culture. I refuse to believe that people bellow 40, who’ve lived abroad, working in great companies, and who own a startup at the moment, don’t know shit about some essential things such as yearly KPIs or they still treat people as ,,expendables”.

I am stubborn enough to work my ass off for things i totally believe in and things that I like.

My conclusion? Maybe I am still a ,,student”, but at least I know that in any project or business you go into, you need to have a long and a short term plan, otherwise you will be wasting your resources.

Good-bye bad companies! I wish you all a soon wake up call!

3 thoughts on “How I lost my job because of a business development mistake

  1. Helder

    It seems to me that, in most of the startups, the “younger” people are more expendable. Because “young” somehow means immature and irresponsible, and therefore you can be promised the world and right after the exit door – and you won´t see it coming.
    It is unfair and definitely not a good practice but i believe you can take this experience and turn it into something good, as now you are more aware of the signs that define a company you dont want to be a part of.
    As for being a student, i believe we are all “students” in something and being willing to learn is crucial to go further, so keep it going 😉

  2. Andreea

    Let me know if I can help with anything, you know … 😀

    And now, let’s see if I can answer some of these questions 🙂

    1. Your suggestions were not taken into consideration: this only the person that didn’t take the into consideration can answer. Did you ask him when he passed your suggestions why? It happened to me and I was told: “we already know what we’re doing, your suggestions don’t fit”. They didn’t, but well, you learn from mistakes. Maybe some of your ideas were relevant, some weren’t. Always ask why if someone says nope, you gotta know why.

    2. Again – they should answer this one. Why not address the question directly to them?

    3. Basically you get involved in a lot of student things. I suppose the association is easy to make.

    4. I will disagree with you on this one. Studying is nothing versus practice. Today diplomas don’t mean shit and are considered some form of laziness (instead of doing “real” work, you waste your time on getting diplomas). Only corporations appreciate diplomas, but, even there, the longer a person is in school and out of the working field, the worse she is seen. The world today needs people that do things, and learn things on the way. Unless learning goes hand-in-hand with full-time job and it doesn’t affect your performance at work (voluntary work is not considered “real work”). I am not saying this to upset you, I am telling you how employers see this matter (you know I’ve been working for many of them). Unless there is a specific certification (e.g. Google AdWords) that is immediately usable or a name like Stanford / Harvard etc behind, that diploma is useless to employers. Especially in small companies.

    5. A startup is by definition a baby company that makes mistakes. That’s a given. They will fail a lot before something works. The key is to learn from mistakes. And yes, it is acceptable to make mistakes because you’re a startup, because growth comes from mistake to mistake and learning from them.

    6. A startup doesn’t need yearly KPIs. A year is too long. You have to act fast and measure things monthly, weekly and even daily. Every 3 months (or basically after any test you do with a growth channel let’s say, or a product feature and you see customer response) you have to have a pivot-persevere analysis. A meeting where you decide if your current strategy works. Measuring yearly KPIs in a startup is needed only if they want to sell. Monthly/weekly follow-up is more useful.

    7. Age is irrelevant when you build a startup. No startup is the same, especially if we talk about online. No matter if you’re 20 or 40, there are some key paths that you can follow, but it’s all about testing and finding the right approach. So yeah, that’s why someone under 40 – kind of a broad specter you give there – will make mistakes when it comes to startups, as will someone over 40, 50, 60. Because no startup is alike.

    8. Startups – in tech / online at least – can’t have a long term plan. Your long term plan will be obsolete when your competitor releases a feature that changes the game or technology advances (check out what happens when salesforce now will add a new feature and how it will affect many companies that depended on them). Startups roll on short to mid-term plans. Even when you go to investors, the long-term plans are disconsidered, because you can’t project with any certainty what will happen in a market. I would say a startup should rather have a little bit of structure, but again, low resources and a lot of work means that usually things are done chaotically.

    When it comes working with companies with limited resources, it’s all about the value you bring: you either bring in extra revenue, extra customers (if you’re marketing), you develop the product and all related tech stuff (if you’re tech) or you make stuff happens (if you’re operations). The moment when you stop bringing value (according to your position and agreement with your managers), they can’t keep you anymore. It’s not even a matter of how good you are, it’s just a matter of resources. I don’t think you should take it too personal – as in you weren’t good enough for them – but rather ask questions. Why they didn’t accept your ideas, how they felt about your work style, why they made this decision. And be ready to take the answers and learn from them, not debate them. It’s not even about debating, it’s all about learning. Because, as I was saying, failure brings a lot of learning.

    Man I wrote a lot! Procrastination ftw haha 🙂

    • frogu

      One of the things I’ve learned is to ask questions. Yes, I always asked questions, but I was told many times, yes we are going to do it, next time I brought it up they told me I talk from books and things such as ,,marketing meetings” dont happen in real life. Secondly, I understand startups cant have a 5 years plan because things change way too fast, but when it comes to aquiring customers features and strategies, you might wanna take a deeper look, see how many you wanna reach in 3 months and then try to break it down. I do hope Im right on this one.
      I understand startup mistakes, what I dont understand is fighting people who are supposed to be more knowledgeble than you ( cause thats why you hired them in the first place) and giving no as an answer without justifying it. Thats all 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>