Working for a startup is an interesting journey, there are sky-is-the-limit highs and rock bottom lows. While there are many experiences to look forward to, one should prepare themselves to be on the receiving end of some bittersweet, fun, long, and stretched work cultures. So before plunging yourself in the deep and explorative waters, here are some things that you can expect while working for a startup.
Startups are a great place to pick up new skills and learn of the landscape in the industry that startup is working in. They are a great place to gain experience to fast-track your career. Since startups are small, there is more opportunity for employees to take up leadership and have a voice of their own. It is also expected of employees to be transparent about what they are learning because they are also expected to grow on the job.
This brings us to the next point, embracing the chaos. If you are not ready or expecting this, it might feel like the ground is shifting beneath your feet. Employees must get used to having long working hours, working with the rapidly changing landscape and the pressure of keeping up. While it seems extremely bleak and tiring, it can be balanced by understanding that long hours also mean flexible hours, changing landscapes means exposure to new avenues within the business and the pressure sets you up for future leadership positions.
In this case, you are your own problem-solver, when something goes wrong, often the leaders are also busy with their responsibilities. It is upon the employee to step up, take account and solve their problem.
However, a wise choice would be to know that startups are experimental. While there is a chance that things could change for the better, it is also important to know that there is a larger chance that things may not work out. It is pertinent to note that job security completely depends on your work ethic and contribution to the company’s growth. A startup’s success criteria to make it in the big leagues depend on very specific circumstances and attributes. The best way to work around this is to know the finances in the start-up and where they are growing towards.
Knowing the company, its culture and the founders:
Since the startup expects you to give your valuable time and effort, you should be passionate about what the company represents and what its values are. Researching the founders and others in the startup is extremely important. They are the culture of the company, so if the founders are not what you had expected for a company and what is good for you, chances are the culture is also not a good fit for you. It is expected of employees to be passionate about the project (the product or service) they will help deliver.
Perks, pay and persevering work:
Startups are not all serious and risky work, there are so many perks available when you are working with a startup like gym memberships and free lunches. The pay may be low, but these perks have value, give employees incentive, and create long-lasting relationships with the people you have worked with. While they may go away after the company grows, they evolve into more practical perks like medical insurance.
While there is back-breaking work, on the opposite side there is a rush and a sense of satisfaction in building an institution from the ground up. The low pay, long hours and chaotic workspace are no measure for the experience, technical skills, learning opportunities and life-long professional connections that this journey would provide.