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Making the move into VC - crazy right now?

#1 Making the move into VC - crazy right now?
08/07/2008 13:28


Hi, I'm wrestling with a career dilemma and I'd appreciate some advice.

I'm currently holding an offer from a good advisory firm, and although I like the team (from what I have seen of them), the work doesn't excite me.

I have also been offered a role with a VC Firm, building on my prior domain experience. It carries both greater initial risk and a lower starting package, but it seems a good cultural fit and willing to invest in training (which I don't underestimate).

I have been working in a specialist area of consulting for 8 years, and I don't feel as interested in the area as I used to. I feel I've outgrown it, and that the VC role would be a genuine stretch and challenge, although making the step-up scares me too.

My head says I should take the advisory role: good package, in the current economic climate now is not the time to take risks etc, possible wider opportunities once you're in the firm... but I also recognise that opportunities to get into VC are rarer than hen's teeth, that this is a role with potential, and that if I can hold on through the next two years, I would be well-placed when the economic cycle picks up...

Economically, we can live on the lower package, but am I crazy to be even considering this right now?

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#2 RE: Making the move into VC - crazy right now?
08/07/2008 13:39

Casio to Andreas (#1)

Do it, you only live once. You've got 8 years experience, if it all goes tits up you'll find another job.

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#3 RE: Making the move into VC - crazy right now?
08/07/2008 14:12

anon to Casio (#2)

What's so great about VC?

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#4 RE: Making the move into VC - crazy right now?
08/07/2008 14:24

Student to anon (#3)

Go for it! VC is great!

I am working in the industry and really enjoying it!

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#5 Re: Making the move into VC - crazy right now?
08/07/2008 14:42

Andreas to anon (#3)

Thanks Casio - you're right if the worst comes to the worst, we'd cope and I just feel it is such a unique opportunity that I will always think "what if..."

Anon - What attracts me to VC is the quality of the individuals I've met, the type of work and the potential long-term financial rewards.

Part of my early career was working in VC-funded start-ups, and I liked the culture more than traditional "big corporate"; longer-term I can see myself going into a start-up if this didn't work out - at least I'd have experience from the other side of the fence.

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#6 RE: Making the move into VC - crazy right now?
08/07/2008 15:22

Ned Flanders to Andreas (#5)

Making a few assumptions from your thread:

1. there is a family you need to support.

2. you have extensive experience in an area and you managed to secure a good package this sector during an economic downturn.

3. You rightly point out, roles in VC are hard to come by especially if they're good ones.

4. The VC package is less but enough money to live well on.

5. The VC job may be technically too challenging

I know the feeling, that you're taking a massive plunge but in all fairness it is not as massive as it feels. You're not launching a start-up from scratch which might go entirely pear-shaped and lose all your savings.

Secondly, you managed to secure a good consulting package when times are hard, if the VC role doesn't work out you should be able to secure an event better package in say 1 or 2 years assuming the economy improved.

I think you should also weigh into your consideration your time commitments and skill set. I gather that the VC job is technically challenging and you might have to facture in eve more hours than the ones you'd expect. How does your partner feel about this?


To put it bluntly, you're already demotivated even before starting the new consulting job, imagine how bad you'd feel if the hours got out of hand or the team didn't turn out to be that great. Your productivity would drop and you may end up worse off than when you started.

Take the VC role, do what you wanted to do since you used to work for a few back in the day, if it doesn't work out you can come back to your old specialism with some new experiences and a renewed confidence in your old job and your abilities.

Hope that helps!

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#7 Re: Making the move into VC - crazy right now?
08/07/2008 17:58

Andreas to Ned Flanders (#6)

Thanks Ned - good points well made.

Pretty close except at present no dependents and my partner is also a consultant, who thinks I should take the role. It'll be tough, the first months will be a real stretch (my biggest concern is re-learning and applying the valuation techniques, even though I covered them on my MBA) but I'll just have to get on with it!

Thanks everyone for your advice :-)

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