Anything can go wrong, even when it’s not supposed to
A lesson learned about losing my job(s)
Exactly 2 years ago, I was working in the biggest and fastest growing Belgian start-up. We were operating in Belgium, France, UK and Spain, opening new cities every week, growing to 200 employees and reaching almost 1 000 000 orders. The company’s name was Take Eat Easy, a food delivery company.
On top of the world
I was at the highlight of my career, I found exactly what I was searching for. An amazing company building a great product with fantastic and passionate people. The dream job for me.
We could feel that everyone inside the company was doing their best to make the adventure a success. It was so energizing.
We knew we were part of something big, food delivery companies were exploding at that time, and we were one of the first, delivering by bicycle. We were excelling at what we were doing and our brand was insanely popular.
During my time at Take Eat Easy, we spent 5 months rebuilding the mobile apps from scratch (iOS, Android and API) and added new features during the next 3 months.
It has been an amazing experience, I learned so much about working in a multi disciplinary team. The interactions between the developers, the designers and the product managers were at a level I’ve never seen before, which ended up in creating the best app I’ve ever worked on.
I was so proud to be part of that company.
Yet, on the morning of July 26, 2016, at 9 a.m. the CEO announced during a phone call with all employees from the 4 countries, that we were shutting down. The same day.
It was tough, hard to believe. I still have goosebumps remembering that moment.
My friend and colleague Warren told me that day, that it’s always the employees who believes the most in a company and its mission, that get hurt the most. I was in love with that company, it’s like it was mine. And I suffered, it was like a break-up for me.
One day I was working in the coolest startup I could have ever dreamt of, with fantastic people that I enjoy working with. The very next day I was reading job offers for banks or insurances, alone at home…
Psychologically, it was depressing. And it took me a while to mourn, because it was so abrupt. When you’re in that situation, it’s really hard to keep confidence in yourself. Everything you’ve worked so hard for, suddenly vanishes.
Fall only to rise again
Having worked in a famous start-up gave us all a momentum to find a new job. So a few weeks later, I started working at another product company.
In a scary turn of event, 9 months later, that company would close. Not from a bankruptcy this time. The group who owned the company decided to shut it down after several years of loss.
Boom. Twice in a row.
Hard lesson learned
The lesson learned here is it doesn’t matter how well your company is doing, how strong your brand is, how unstoppable you think you are or how stable you think your job is. Everything can fall apart and stop tomorrow morning.
This is one of the best advice I’ve ever learned.
Take Eat Easy remains the best professional experience I’ve ever had. And if I had to do it again, knowing the end result, I would jump in right away, without any hesitation. It was that worth it.
What I will always remember and cherish is the journey, not the destination.
If you’re reading this, I truly wish you to live an experience like that one day.
Life is too short to not love your job. ❤️