Working with startups is a whole different ball game in comparison to working for an established company. But this post is not about startup vs MNC jobs.\r\n\r\nI \u00a0had worked with 3 startups full-time and currently pursuing my entrepreneurial dream. I\u2019d like to share a few of my learnings with you.\r\n\r\nIf you are looking to get started (or currently working) as an employee in a startup, this will come in handy.\r\nStartups Are Risky - Not The Way You Think\r\nA lot of people think the risk associated with a startup is just about losing your job if the company runs out of cash. However, in my experience, there\u2019s a bigger risk.\u00a0The risk of losing your purpose.\r\n\r\nMost people join startups for a reason. Whether it\u2019s to learn how to build a company or to get a higher pay cheque or maybe even to experience the whole startup thing.\u00a0But you have understand some startup grow, but, some\u00a0fail to achieve product-market-fit and pivot to some other product.\r\n\r\nIf you have joined a company because you liked what they were building, and thought they were disruptive. What happens if they pivot to a more boring business model?\u00a0Companies could also get bigger and they might end up hiring different people to lead different teams. If you are the kind of person who would like to handle multiple hats, at some point in a startup, you won't get that flexibility.\u00a0What would you do then?\u00a0That\u2019s the primary risk you\u2019d have to tackle.\r\n\u201cDate\u201d The Founders Before Joining Them Full-Time\r\nThere are enough and more stories about great startups failing due to bad founders. It\u2019s critical that you feel comfortable with the founders and their vision.\u00a0Do the founders seem capable of pulling off their vision? Do they have enough insights about the market they are trying to address? Are they likely to pivot?\u00a0You need to get into the founder\u2019s head and know what they know. Once you are convinced about the product and the vision, take a call.\r\n\r\nFor startups that have found product-market-fit or ones that have raised huge funding and expanding very fast, you might not get the chance to talk directly to the founders.\u00a0In this case, in addition to understanding about the company and what it\u2019s planning to do, find out who you are going to work with and try working with them on a small project.\r\n\r\nBad managers are the most common reason for attrition. Working with them for a short time will help you judge how well you can work with them (not fool-proof, but better than taking the risk of quitting you job, joining them, and then finding out you can\u2019t get along).\r\nNever Be Afraid To Ask For Something\r\nWant a higher pay cheque? Need a new tool that\u2019s available in the market that\u2019s going to make your job easier and more efficient.\u00a0Don\u2019t be afraid to ask for what you need.\u00a0Scrappy startups might not give you a go ahead so easily.\r\n\r\nThink you deserve a raise? Show your manager (or in most cases as with startups, the founders) how your contribution has added to the company\u2019s bottom line.\u00a0Make it easier for them to justify giving you the raise (or a go ahead for anything else) rather than them having to think of why you deserve one.\u00a0Be proactive and back your request with data.\r\nQuit When You Feel You Are Not Adding Value\r\nThe biggest mistake you can make is tagging along when you know that you are not adding any value.\u00a0It\u2019s beneficial for both your career and the startup you work for to find a replacement if you are not feeling content with your current job.\r\n\r\nYour job could also get redundant as new automation tools come in. It\u2019s only a matter of time before management decides to act on it.\u00a0If that\u2019s you, either find a new role that\u2019s more fulfilling and adds value to the company or move on.\r\nWork Smart - You Need To Have Work-Life Balance Else You'll Get Burnt Out\r\nBurning the midnight oil. Working 48 hours straight. Think they are bragging rights?\u00a0Maybe. But I am sure your doctor won\u2019t appreciate it when he\u2019s treating you for spondylitis, insomnia, or hypertension.\u00a0Startups are about working hard. But not so much that it breaks you.\r\n\r\nI realised the importance of health only when I fell sick and had to be off work for 6 months.\u00a0Work efficiently. Cut off any activities that might waste productive hours and go home on time.\r\nDon't Be Afraid To Spend Money When Your Company Raises Funds\r\nThe startup you worked for was scrappy and you had very low budget to work with.\u00a0Suddenly, they raise funding and you have a lot more money to spend.\u00a0Most people simply increase their spending linearly, so that they get comfortable with the spending pattern.\u00a0But startups are not about being comfortable. In my experience, it\u2019s better to spend the money to reach more people and collect their feedback rather than waiting for several months to get the same feedback.\r\n\r\nStartups are fun. It\u2019s a great environment to work and can really help your career. Evaluate your options and join the right startup.