When to say no to a job offer?


What if you were finishing your degree and you got an offer from a big company, such as McKinsey. What would you do? Would you say no thanks and work 100% on your idea, or work part-time on your idea and also work at the big company?

Getting Started Day Job Part Time Job Offer

asked Oct 13 '09 at 06:36
333 points

4 Answers


Take the job and learn what goes on in a big company. Off course at the same time start working on your business idea as well.

Benefits of working for a company

  • It pays the bills.
  • You learn how a company works.
  • Learn about company processes such as development, marketing, team work etc.
  • You get to identify issues that a company struggles with
  • You get to meet other people and learn from senior people, and potentially meet a business partner. (networking) You learn that there is a whole lot more to running a business than just an idea. The best part about working for a company is that every body wastes time at work reading email or websites. On your down time read sites that are related about your business idea have a notebook on your desk where you jot down ideas or solutions to problems you are facing.
  • answered Oct 13 '09 at 06:45
    John Soer
    596 points
    • erm. don't take that job if you want to run a startup. you won't learn relevant skills for a startup, you'll get used to a nice salary and probably never actually do your own thing. pay the bills by applying for a seed investor programme like ycombinator, seedcamp or springboard. learn how a company works by doing it. learn what company processes are by doing it. identify actual issues by struggling and overcoming them. network by talking and reaching out to people. – Pclark 14 years ago
    • Thank you both, nice to have different opinions. – Tiago 14 years ago


    I'd go work on my startup because thats what I want to do. What do you expect people to say? Do what you want to do.

    answered Oct 13 '09 at 06:43
    744 points
    • He didn't say startup or not, just startup full-time or part-time... – Jason 14 years ago


    Consider this:

    1. Decide on how many months it will take to build something that users would want. (6 months should be enough to build the most important differentiating part). Multiply that by 2.
    2. Figure out how much you need for expenses. $2K/month should be more than enough.
    3. For big company offer '$', calculate 'n' so that [1]+n x [2] = n x $.
    4. Work for big company for 'n' months. And work your butt off during that time. Impress everyone, make contacts, build network, learn and be an entrepreneur from within (making change happen).

    You will notice that 'n' is not a very large number. But, if you spend more than [2] during your 'n' months, then realize that it will be very very hard to come out of it. (you have the flawed entrepreneurial gene and if you can't resist the temptation you might be dooming yourself to torture).

    answered Oct 14 '09 at 02:37
    1,080 points


    From my experience - before launching a business, a person would need to know a lot of things/skills/experience and many friends/contacts.

    So if you're starting at an early age (before 20s), just jump into business. Over the time you'll gain experience and make contacts.

    Otherwise, take up at least 3 jobs, spending at least 6 months in each before jumping into biz. That's a smart approach, less risky and you'll have much clearer picture.

    That was exactly my situation, I rejected job offers, "continued" with my venture. However, 8 months later I took up one start-up job offer. Learned many new things there and this helped me a lot in my business.

    answered Oct 14 '09 at 02:17
    Arpit Tambi
    1,050 points

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