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Why We Left Corporate Sales to Join a Startup

Finding a corporate job is a goal for many, but for others the politics, slow pace, and lack of ownership aren't a good fit for their personality or style of working.

Over two-thirds of Instabug’s sales and customer success teams come from major multinational corporations. They left corporate positions to throw their weight into the startup ring. So why’d they do it?

We chatted with a few our teammates in sales and customer success to find out.

Meet the team members

Sarwat built the sales team and foundation at Instabug after more than 20 years of extensive sales and business expertise in multinational corporations with global coverage.

Meleegy joined the Instabug sales team in early 2019. After growing up and finishing his education in Egypt, South Africa and the United States, he spent time working at corporate heavyweights before he joined the startup life.

Seif is a key player on Instabug’s customer success team. His role is centered on customer onboarding, retention, upselling, and customer relationship management. He joined us just over two years ago after leaving a multinational corporate job.

Dahab, also on the customer success team, was on the fast track up the corporate ladder when she left for Instabug. She’s an Information Systems and Computer Science graduate with a passion for technology and customer relationships.

The need for a break in routine

The ideal work environment looks a little bit different for everyone. Some people need rigidity and structure in order to maximize their productivity. Others need more freedom to be creative and try new things in order to stay engaged and inspired. For these team members, joining a startup allowed them to break the routine and add variety to their daily lives.

Seif: I wanted to do something different. I get bored easily; I always like to be doing or learning something new. At my old job, I realized that I was very much stuck in a routine. In terms of career progress, there was a promising path, but the monotonous routine wasn’t what I wanted to do.

Dahab: Like many big companies, the structure and the way my old company did things was very well established; everything had a clear process and line of hierarchy. As organized as this was, I found it to be very restricting — restricting to my sense of innovation, to working outside the box, and to any diversion from the already clearly-drawn path. As much as I learned there, it felt like much of my learning was towards achieving company-specific goals rather than personal skills and experience that I could apply broadly, which is what I found at Instabug.

Exposure to bigger professional opportunities

Moving up the corporate career ladder requires time and dedication — exactly the same qualities you need to be successful at a startup. But the difference between the two is context. At a huge company, if you’re not upper management, you might feel like a small fish among many in a big pond. But when you’re on a small team in a startup, you’re a bigger fish in a small pond. You’re closer to the action, the decision-making process, and your input is meaningful, whether you’ve been there three years or three months.

Meleegy: Joining a startup became more and more appealing as I gained experience at a corporate. I realized that a lot of the challenges you face in the corporate world, you’d face in the startup world. The only difference is that at a startup you are so much more able to act and be a force for change.

Seif: Before I joined, I was well aware of Instabug’s potential to grow and become a huge player in the tech world, not just in Egypt and the Middle East. It’s exciting for me to work at a company like Instabug where not only does the company have the potential to grow, but you have the potential to grow as a person as well.

Dahab: Instabug is currently in the sweet spot between having a very strong customer base and a reputable name, and paving the road to growth and expansion. Personally, my sense of success comes from my sense of purpose and impact. Working at Instabug is very exciting and rewarding in the sense that I get to be part of the structure and decision-making process, something that I would have to be in top management at a corporate with at least 15 years of experience to be able to have a say.

The desire to be challenged

For some, a dream job is something they can do eight hours a day, five days a week without getting too stressed out. It’s comfortable. It pays the bills. Some people prefer a consistent, predictable routine and would rather save their excitement for their days off.

But if you’re the type of person who likes to work out creative new ways to solve problems or if your sense of purpose comes from what you do at work, then a startup might be right for you. The road ahead will be demanding and unpredictable, that’s true. But you might be more likely to leave the office feeling gratified after a day of stretching your brain and trying new things.

Dahab: I decided to leave something that is big and comfy for something that is much more challenging and demanding and join the squad at Instabug as an Account Manager.

Seif: I’ve always been impressed by startups and always wanted to experience working at one. Every single person I talked to told me that it’s a huge risk, and I knew that it was a risk but it was one that I was willing to take.

Sarwat: After working for such a long time in corporates, one becomes a part of the ecosystem. It became business as usual and my experience reached a plateau. At Instabug, we are on a continuous learning curve on a daily basis. The company is so dynamic that every day one faces new, exciting challenges.

These are just a few of the reasons our team members decided to go ahead and give the startup life a try. Some of them have been with the team for years and are thrilled they made the leap. In the next post in this series, we'll learn why Instabug was the startup they chose and what it's like to work with Silicon Valley customers from Egypt. Stay tuned for Part 2!

We're always hiring. If you relate to the thoughts above and you'd like to work with us, we'd love to meet you! Check out our current job openings and Apply Now.

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