Discover more from The Family's Newsletter
Firing can be caring.
1st job, you’re fired!
My first real job was as a Project Manager in a sort of artistic agency. I gave my best, working countless hours. I had no social life. I was eager to learn and grow. One day, I got fired: the boss asked me to leave after a 10-min. conversation in the office kitchen. I was young, I felt ashamed and sad. In 2009, we were in the middle of an economic crisis. I went back home, called my parents, crying: “What will I dooooo with my life?”
I knew nothing about tech.
I followed the advice of an ex-coworker I respected a lot, a mentor who became a friend. She told me to have a look at an open position in a non-profit whose mission was to help the local tech community. That experience opened my eyes to the potential emancipation tech entrepreneurship could offer. I discovered driven founders who changed my mind on who could build companies and why. I wanted to serve them, bringing the opportunities they deserved. I started the 1st startup accelerator in France. A few years later, I met my cofounders and we launched The Family.
Having “the hard conversation”.
I’ve been on both sides of the table. Being fired and firing. Neither is easy. I often talk about it with our founders. Unless you’re super unlucky and have hired someone who is intentionally toxic, I strongly believe that mismatches are simply quite common.
So if you have to fire someone for the 1st time, here are my basic guidelines:
You’re not the end of their road. They’ll have plenty of ways to discover themselves and grow elsewhere.
Show respect. I wish I’d had a real, long and honest conversation about why it didn’t work at my first job. Anything said with kindness can be heard. It’s a long-term game in a not-so-big ecosystem. You may work together later in another configuration.
Let them write the story. Some may prefer it to look like they voluntarily resigned.
Propose your help and recommend that person to other founders.
If you can offer more money than what the law says you have to give, do it.
From one country to another, we’re not all in the same boat.
In many places, labor law hasn't moved much since the industrial era, a time of workforce exploitation. Things that aimed at essential protection in the industrial age led to anachronistic, rigid and distrusting laws in the startup world. In short, it’s too risky, costly and sometimes almost impossible to fire someone in certain countries today.
Designing laws based on the case of startups isn’t the answer.
Startups are not the norm. They are by definition very risky environments, they’re still searching for their business model. Fortunately for the tranquility of this world, not everyone is willing to take that many risks!
Navigating the global possibilities - that’s your way, Pirates.
As a founder, you already know you have to be agile, create your own path and opportunities.
Because firing comes alongside hiring, let’s talk about hiring ;)
If you want to explore the different options this remote world is offering you, join our Summit happening on Wednesday. Founders and operators from all over the world - like Remote, Livestorm, AWS, HireSweet, MindValley, Talent io, Deel and Spendesk - will share their tips and strategies to hire from anywhere, automate the paperwork with great tools, and really leverage the remote talent pool.
Finally, let me tell you a secret: today I know only a bit more about tech 🤭
… But plenty of founders among our fellowship are experts in their fields. The Family gathers within it the environment to grow: getting smart advice, accessing top operators and fundraising with the best investors. Applications for the next remote batch starting in January are open now.