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Tiktok celebrity and ex-google analyst tells fintech horror story

The tech industry is one in which the brave, or rather, the risky, thrive. Innovation is at its heart and with many up-and-coming companies looking to make a real change in the world, searching for a career in a small start-up with big ideas has seemed an attractive proposition to many...including TikTok celebrity Ken Waks. The former Google analyst and current technical manager at Walmart Connect has amassed over 680k followers and used his platform to tell his self-proclaimed “American Nightmare” of leaving Google to join a fintech start-up.

Though he has spoken about this chapter of his career before, Wak's most recent chapter in his TikTok odyssey sheds some light on the emotional damage the fintech move has caused him. Presumably many other young fintech employees are at risk of similar wounds. 

“No one had trained me, no one had onboarded me, no one had told me what my job was” claims Waks. After four weeks of working for the unnamed fintech in which he “built [them] a fully functioning website which is now the face of [their] company”, the company attempted to “railroad” him in a vague and unspecified way. This in turn lead to his resignation.

Waks admits that he “got really lucky” when Google were willing to take him back, but many people either in finance or in tech moving into smaller fintech companies may not be so lucky. His story underlines the inherent risk of moving from a larger company to a smaller one and serves as a cautionary tale to those looking to find their footing in fintech; look out for yourself and ensure that your employer provides a clear role and place for you.

@ken Replying to @ken “the American dream” & the day I was woken up by corporate reality. Making 110k at 25, at a company that claimed to help immigrants, poor, the unbanked. What a dream. #americandream #americannightmare #corporate #corporateamerica #truestory #fallguy #sanfrancisco #startup #fintech ♬ Suspense, horror, piano and music box - takaya

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Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: alex.mcmurray@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. 

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AUTHORAlex McMurray
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