I just found out that I make $6/hour as an engineer in a company who’s annual rev is over $1B. What ‘s pissing me off is that I spend $12/day for the ride home in a taxi. Thinking about starting up but I still don’t have the balls for it.


  • Hi. What kind of balls do you need? Married with kids? More importantly, have you been passed over for a raise? Have you asked for a raise? You can if you believe you have earned it. Do you have a secret business idea you can build a startup around? You may want to spend some time developing that idea now you know you are being underpaid. You may find it helps to improve talking about salary raises with your boss despite the toughness it may require you to develop. All the best.

  • I hope you are using hyperbole when you say you are making $6/hr. If not then you’re an idiot. Idiot Scenario #1: You work 120 hrs/wk (almost impossible) and make $36k/yr. Idiot Scenario #2: You work 60 hrs/wk and make $18k/yr. Idiot Scenario #3: You can’t do the math to figure out how much you make, in which case you’re only worth $6/hr.

    • It is a standard pay here.. I am considered as well paid compared to other companies in my country. The idiot scenario is this: I didn’t have the guts to go to Europe of the US to study and/or work there. Im stil sitting here, keeping all the ideas have rotten in my head, too scared to quit and start up (because Im only 25) and Im too scared to even apply for a job abroad.

      getting used to that salary being there every month is very very baaaaaaaad thing. financial security is bad

        • I posted the Idiot Scenarios. Now that I see that you are in a developing country I have to admit that I didn’t think of that one. That might mean that Scenario #4 is that I’m the idiot. I have no idea what the real value of $6/hr. is in your economy.

          But, as for the “scared” part. Being 25 is probably the best time to go out on your own. If you’re scared now, what are the chances that you will take a risk if/when you are older or have a family to support?

          • It’s okay dude, some of the idiot scenarios apply to a certain degree 🙂

            It’s is probably the financial security that I am having right now. It makes me stay in this place, develop a career and hope to get a raise of 15 to 25 % every year and that’s about all I can wish for.

            But it is not my company, I am obligated to work on stuff I don’t necessarily like and as I said, the effort does not match the compensation, not matter how much they’ll pay me.

            Yesterday, I met a guy from my school who worked for about 7 years in a company and has just started his own gig.

            The stuff he said to me and the way he described the first couple of months, the hard work and how he got his first client, made me re-think abt that subject.

            I am having a fucking high-speed train in my head and I can not focus on anything, other than the ” get the fuck out and do it”

            I will probably wait for 6 months , a year max, and I’m doing it 🙂

            Thank’s y’all for the feedback.

  • No you shouldn’t do a startup. It will cost you all of your money & savings, not to mention you need business skills which it appears you dont have yet.

    $6 an hr in your currency is probably decent. Other US readers will see this as quite low but it shouldnt be compared.

    You should start freelancing on the side. If your skills are good you can charge close to what engineers in other countries earn. In this day and age, you dont need to travel to be an in demand engineer.

    Dont count other people’s money. You have no idea what goes into a $1B revenue business. It is expensive, has lots of taxes, attorneys, expenses, financial risks, and requires much experience all of which you dont have nor have to deal with.

    Finally, why not focus on some basic accomplishments first like getting a used car or ride with coworkers? Solving your own problems is part of the skills you will need to be a successful founder.

    • Thanks man for the time and advice 🙂

      For the experience and the business skills that I don’t have, I totally agree with you, I don’t have it all figured out, and that’s a part of what’s scaring me to start up. Especially the lake of network and public reputation.

      What I am doing now is working on small projects on the side. I have a blog where I post stuff once or twice a month. I will begin to teach a class in my old engineering school… for extra cash, but for reputation and connections as well.

      Yes I am taking time to pass a driver’s licence exam and saving some cash for a used car.

      I will keep all of you posted with updates in the future… I really appreciate the comments. I wrote the original post at a moment when I was feeling down and extremely burned out and tired and I felt that I was under paid to deal with all this stress…

      THANKS AGAIN 🙂

  • When I started my first company in India, I was 19, college dropout with $2K in my bank account. I saved that money while my college time by building websites for small business.

    After dropping out the college, I tried to scale up the business, I had few lucky months and few bad ones. Later I started attending startup events, I met few guys a billion dollar idea and I joined with them. I worked with them around 15 months on many billion dollar ideas. But my bad luck, none of them got any real users.

    Later I started as a freelancer and I made an average of $5k per month and I had good work life balance.

    I don’t have any work experience with billion dollar companies, But the salary they are paying is purely depends on your market. If they can easily replace you, the won’t pay you much.

    I learned many things in my journey (I’m 23 now) and I’m joining one of the hot Indian startup from the next month. They offered me around $50K, but I think I can learn many things while working with them.

    You are 25, have work experience with big companies and know English. Do you know why they are not offering higher salary? Do you know what are the missing skills?

    since you have a stable job, find your self, learn new skills and fill the missing gap. You can even join in any NGO as volunteer. Build network and learn skills.

    Then join in a funded startup as employee, you can learn a lot without spending money.

    Build a plan and start your company in 1 or 2 years.

    Start following your passion, not the money.

    All the best!

  • north africa here… don’t leave your job unless you start having customers. you got that $6/h job because that $1billion dollar company is looking for reducing costs. if they wanted to pay you hire, they would stay where they are from. after I launched my startup I am making around $3 an hour.

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