RemoteWorks

Three reasons why I joined Claap

And how to think about your next career move

Angela Guedes

From a manager of managers to a team of one.

From a soonicorn to a pre-revenue startup.

Why would someone make that move?

I get this question a lot since joining Claap. The answer, of course, will be different and very personal to each one of us. It's also one of the toughest decisions to make. And – sometimes – a very lonely one. So I want to share my story hoping to help those facing this decision.

I believe there are three areas we should consider before deciding on our next career move: Purpose, Culture, and Personal needs.

Purpose

I truly believe we only give our best selves and are happier at work when we identify with the company’s purpose. So when researching the company, I ask myself: can I truly get behind the mission? Do I personally identify with it?

With Claap, it was obvious I did from the first call I had with Pierre. Breaking the chains of command; play bigger and not being afraid to challenge ourselves; focus on impact and not on schedules or where we work; taking up new challenges and going beyond our scope.

As I read Claap’s values I immediately saw my own values reflected there.

Another important aspect here is how much do I feel that I can contribute to the mission? Do I have the right experience, skills, and knowledge?

Also important, how much can I grow here? Will I be able to take on new areas, projects, or responsibilities, or will I just be doing more of the same as I have been doing until now?

At Claap, the answer was clear. I would lead Customer Success and build it from the ground up. So definitely aligned with my experience and skills. But I would also take on Marketing responsibilities, since I would work with the entire user base, not just paying users. Learning how to convert free users to paid ones was a completely new challenge for me.

Culture

It’s impossible to grasp culture in a couple of interviews. We know that. So these are the clues I look for during a recruitment process:

Connection with the founders

Claap is my third early-stage startup, so connecting with the founders is as important as connecting with the Mission. They are the ones setting the direction, building the culture, and are involved in all aspects of the business.

So how do they make me feel? Do they make an effort to build rapport? Do they make space for me to ask questions or does it feel more like an interrogation? Do they look at me as someone they can learn from or just as a resource they can extract knowledge from?

Speed of engagement

How fast do they tell me about next steps? We all know how we feel when we end an interview with a “we’ll get in touch” and then weeks go by without a single email. Not at Claap. At the end of each interview, we were booking the next step. I knew exactly what would happen and when it would happen. And in the final stages, Pierre made himself available to jump on another call, answer questions by email, and even offered to connect me with one of the company advisors.

Personal needs

This one was big for me. It probably wouldn’t matter 8 years ago when I started my startup journey. But today, with two small kids at home, it was a deal-breaker. The next points are very personal for me, but I highly recommend you read them and think about your own needs, for the stage you are in your life.

Timezone

I have two small kids, ages 2 and 4. School ends at 4.30 PM. For the past 9 months before joining Claap I would pick them up and rush home for another 2 hrs in meetings. The stress plus the lack of energy and patience to be with my kids.. was too much. I knew I needed to have the majority of my time spent in EMEA.

Product-led growth model

As any parent of young children, I'm exhausted. I'm tired, I'm sore. I don't need to make my days more difficult than they already are. I love working with products I can and need to use. Why try to prove I can deliver in other models? Maybe for another time. Definitely not now.

A break from management

Don't get me wrong. I love to build teams. I never did it for the title or prestige. It was always about helping others. Understand what's blocking their progress and reach their full potential. But I needed to pause. I was putting others first 24/7. From 9-5 my team and from 5-9 my kids. It was time to put my headphones on and focus on delivery.

When I met Pierre and learned about Claap, I knew it was the perfect fit. A small team, all based in Europe, a product I desperately needed for myself, and being on my own for a while.

I know it will last only a few months. The team will grow and customers are already coming from all corners of the world. But I already got four months of me time. That seemed impossible 5 months ago.

So my advice is: be honest with yourself. Company valuations, team size, fancy brand. None of that matters. Understand what you need in your life now. What's important for you today. Because when change is the only constant, our choices are the only things we can control.