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    • A few people here know that I regularly dole out career advice online. In spite of my current dead end job situation, which I’m in the process of rectifying, I have enough perspective from my multiple careers, employers and bosses to be genuinely helpful. I take seriously the responsibility of giving direction that can aid someone who may be dealing with frustration, indecision, depression or even potential suicide from a bad job situation.

      I received a really nice note of thanks back from a technology founder dealing with depression after his “baby” was bought by a big company and, instead of being happy, he’s currently frustrated and depressed there post-acquisition with “golden handcuffs.”

      Here was my advice to him:

      Money does not equate to happiness. You met your fiduciary responsibilities in negotiating the best sales price possible for your investors, but you didn’t negotiate for the best life possible during your handcuffitude. Everything is renegotiable if the cost to the acquirer is less than the value of you staying.

      Take three days off: call in sick if you have to. Drive a half day away to somewhere else. With a pad and pen, spend the time designing what you WANT to do during your servitude. Work four 10 hour days and enjoy a three day weekend? Get to spend a few days each month visiting the other divisions—-maybe they could use an interim division exec for awhile. Or?

      When you return to the office, set up a meeting with the “decider” and show them your finalized list and ask this one question:

      “What can you give me on this list to make me want to stay?”

      Good luck!

    • Depression among tech founders is not uncommon. The stress of the startup life and the constant quest for demonstrable improvements and growth can become a self-reflection of one’s intrinsic value.

      “In 2011, a few months into starting Wahooly—a crowdfunding platform in which backers receive a share in the venture’s success—Dana Severson started to have bouts of debilitating anxiety. The company had started off well, but things had plateaued lately.  ‘You see other people getting press and doing things faster than you and it makes you second guess every single skill that you have,’ he says. But Severson didn’t tell anybody about his feelings. He couldn’t, he felt, because he had to be a good leader.

      “Theres a lot of money at stake in this world—it's not only the investors that you need the confidence of, it’s also your co founders and employees,” he says.  ‘I couldn’t allow them to have any sort of doubt in my ability to perform.’”

      Further reading