A New Start
It's been about a week since my last day at Reputation.com, and since then I've had some time to reflect on what I liked, what I didn't like, what I want to do in the future, and how I'm going to improve in the future. It's no surprise that the pandemic has exposed the cracks in our system, and that was not exclusive to government policies. It really made me realize at Reputation that I loved the people a lot more than the mission and projects.
Do not get me wrong. I enjoyed Reputation while I was there. It was my first real developer job with development cycles, more than one other engineer to talk to, and gave me many opportunities to take leadership on projects. I feel very fortunate to be able to be a lead frontend engineer on a major project for the platform, and it really forced me to learn at a fast pace.
If it was so great, why did you leave?
"Well if you loved it so much then why leave?". That really is the million dollar question here. I see so many people write posts like "Wow, X was such an amazing company. I love it so much and it pains me so much to leave..." blah blah blah. I think if you loved it so much, why would you leave? There has to be some driving force that makes you start looking for the next job, otherwise... Did you really love it? You can love the people, but hate the work. You can love the perks of the office, but hate the culture. When it comes down to it, you can love many things about a company you work for, but there has to be something you don't like / hate that makes you say "I'm getting the hell out of here".
For me, there was a few things:
- Not feeling heard
- Low total compensation
- I no longer aligned with the company mission
This post is not to bash Reputation. I repeat, it is not to bash. This is just me talking about what led me to leave the company.
Not feelings heard
When a company says they are transparent, there are different levels of transparency. Just like in Photoshop, you can make an element 100% transparent, or 50% to get a faint view of the element behind it. There are many reasons why a company might do this, such as to save the moral of the engineers to hide the dirty laundry that doesn't need to be shown to every single employee at a company. I fully understand that. However, if you're going to boast you're being transparent, don't beat around the bush. I would love to go into details, but I do not want to break any NDAs, and honestly it does not concern me anymore since I am no longer there.
Low total compensation
You don't have to try to convince any engineers at Reputation that they are underpaid. Not when comparing to FAANG companies, but other companies of the same size in the Valley. It took 2 years to get my first salary adjustment, and by then it was essentially an inflation bonus plus some peanuts to eat at my desk (WFH of course). I made it very clear 5 months into me working at Reputation I had an ideal number to hit at my 1 year mark, and if the company could not help me hit that number, they needed to let me know. They hit me with the classic "don't worry", and after dozens of conversations and 2 years of waiting, even with a bonus, more stocks, and a base salary bump, we didn't get close to that number.
It makes sense though. Why would a company willingly give you more money than it "has" to. A company does not have to give you a raise, whether you're a super start developer or not. It is not a legal obligation to give you any type of raise, and getting one at all is a blessing. However, if you want that sweet FAANG salary or a 40% bump in TC, then you better look elsewhere. Just know the second you put in your two week notice, the company will all of a sudden have the funds to give you a raise and make you stay. It's as if the money fell from the skys.
I no longer aligned with the company mission
When I first found out about Reputation, this video blew my little mind. The founder and CEO Michael Fertik really pulled me in with this review economy that had been right in my face this entire time, and I didn't realized how much I relied on Google Maps reviews and Yelp Reviews to really make a informed decision on who to give my business too. I was intrigued, and wanted to work there to add to this mission.
However, over the last two years my tastes really have changed. I don't really feel motivated in helping a multi-billion dollar company make themselves look good on the internet anymore. If Reputation moved towards a "Freemium" model for businesses with one or two locations, that I could 1000000% get behind. However, there's no money there and I'm sure the investors would not be down for that. This is by no means a fault of the company. It really is a "follow where the money is" play, and I get it.
I'll miss the people, but not the company
I have made many great friends at Reputation over my time. I loved being in the office and bringing my fresh baked cookies in for everyone to eat. It always made me happy to see people enjoying my food, and really is one of my fondest memories of the place. Plus, meeting great friends that I know I will talk to for the rest of my life is the cherry on top of the life ice cream sundae.
Reputation was good to me, and I'll forever be grateful to them. Now it's time to move onto the next, big adventure.