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3 reasons why now – Yes now – is the right time to apply

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3 reasons why now – Yes now – is the right time to apply

Crypto jobs are the catalyst for an upcoming societal transformation. Now is the time to join the front lines, says Diwaker Guptathe technical director of Hiro.

If you work in the tech industry, chances are some of your colleagues or even managers have left their jobs to work at a crypto company.

Many typical Silicon Valley companies have placed a freeze on new hires and workers report higher burnout rates. This stress is probably related to the fact that many workers are at variance with leadership on return to work plans. Most workers prefer to have more flexibility where they work. The stock market’s plunge into bearish territory further aggravated the mood.

Crypto Jobs and Bears

Let’s tackle the bear in the room: in the light of the market, some bigger crypto companies announced hiring freezes and layoffs and even rescinded offers. However, many crypto companies (including Hiro) are still hiring. In general, start-up and pre-revenue stage companies will be less impacted by the macroeconomic environment. Later-stage companies, and especially public companies, will face much higher pressure to react to any downturn.

In some ways, a bear market is actually a great time to be down and focus on building. During bullfights there is a lot of hype and the desire to get the most attention, which can sometimes be a distraction. Bear markets can also weed out bad actors, those using crypto for the wrong reasons, or those who want to make a quick buck.

Those with a longer term vision, teams that are goal oriented and strong in execution will stay on their feet. Crypto is cyclical, just like the wider economy. Just as many of today’s biggest companies have their roots in the post-dotcom era, many of the biggest crypto companies will likely be born during this bear market.

Crypto Jobs: Why Join Now

I take the leap in crypto from Silicon Valley company Dropbox, where I led engineering for Intelligence. I joined Web3 tools company Hiro. So I am often asked work in crypto. Here are three reasons why now, even in the midst of a market correction, is a good time for tech workers to join a crypto company.

1. You will be working on something innovative

In my 10 years in Silicon Valley, I never felt like innovation was happening all around me. The Bay Area has been a powerhouse of innovation over the past few decades. But over the past five to ten years, a number of factors have negated any advantage he might have had. Part of that could be cultural.

On some level, most Silicon Valley startups and companies all start to look the same after a certain point. They fit into the typical playbook of a Series A company that focuses on growth. The careers that form in Silicon Valley are basically, “I did growth hacking at Uber, so I’ll do growth hacking at Lyft or Cruise.” People fall into these patterns.

In the crypto industry, there is a lot of experimentation, and of course a lot of bad ideas, but it is the process of innovation that takes place. Best of all, this innovation is coming at a pace I’ve never experienced before. If you’re the type of person who likes to feel like you’re on the edge, where creativity, problem-solving, and experimentation reign, the crypto industry is for you.

2. You are more likely to be rewarded for success

It feels like a traditional business is more secure and has a more predictable path to success. For most people, however, unless they are lucky, their financial results will be marginal.

I joined Dropbox in 2015 and the company went public in 2018 in a price above expectations. The windfall never reached most employees. I had managed a fairly large team there, so you’d assume I would have done well with the IPO. However, the reality is that venture capital money drives up valuations. People working at Dropbox got restricted stock units (RSUs) that were priced above the current price of Dropbox shares. Most of my RSUs are now underwater. Also, if someone gets stock options, they have to stay in one’s job to exercise these stock options.

Then there are extreme cases, like what happened to employees of one-click payment company Bolt Financial. The company, which had a valuation of $11 billion, offered loans to employees to exercise their stock options. But when its valuation collapsed, the company laid off a third of its workforce. The small number of laid-off workers who took out loans had to repay them within 90 days.

What I take away from my experience and that of others is that the bottom line of tech workers, even in a traditionally successful company, depends on so many factors beyond our control. If so, you can get lucky anywhere, including crypto companies. At Hiro, the tokens we offer employees in place of stock options have no cliff and are already liquid.

Recruitment is a hot topic during the crypto winter.  But a new opinion poll shows people aren't looking to quit their jobs.

3. You are likely to have an interesting experience no matter what

As tech workers, we have to recognize that we’re lucky to work in an industry where the absolute worst-case scenario is that you take home a good salary and an interesting story. Compared to many other industries, this worst-case scenario is actually positive. Given this, I tend to think about optimizing for the upside, rather than protecting against the downside.

The benefit of joining the crypto industry for me was that it felt like an experience. Like most tech players, I had the comfort of knowing that I could always go back to Google, Meta, Microsoft, or a regular Silicon Valley startup.

Ask yourself: What do you have to lose by work in crypto? If crypto has even a 1% chance of transforming the way the world or the internet works, why not be on the front line? Take the chance.

About the Author

Diwaker Gupta is the CTO of Hiro. He is passionate about applying technology to have a meaningful and positive impact. Hiro is a company for developers, built by developers. The name is taken from Neal Stephenson’s Hacker “Hiro Protagonist” Snowfall.

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