While fresh graduates or even career shifters usually prefer working on a well-known reputable brand or company with lots of perks coming left and right, there are those (like myself) who are willing to give startups a try.
Most people may say that startups are high risks since most of them fail; someone’s got to leap into the world of startups, right?
Small team isn’t synonymous to not great
Everything starts into that small idea that can potentially grow into something big.
While most startups usually don’t have that big budget or employee benefits that most corporations have, it doesn’t mean the team you get to be part of aren’t awesome. In fact, some of the most amazing people I’ve worked with were from startups as would only hire what we would call “dream team” – where everyone is aces on their best places.
You got to start with making coffee
If your idea of internship and rewarding career means starting right from the very bottom, then startup life isn’t for you. Right, while most startups may have limited resources and really small team, you get to have a chance to wear several hats and not start from the most bottom of the food chain. Though you may have that one specific job title on paper, you’ll be pushed to become a jack-of-all-trades. You start from one task then jump into another and working hours can get longer than usual. It’s in the startup world where employees who want to go extra-mile are actually recognized.
There’s no room for learning (literally)
Sure, corporations could send you to trainings and get you really expensive courses, but it doesn’t usually happen until you’re part of the elite mid-level, or in most cases, C-level club. With startups though, the company may have literally limited spaces but startups tend to compensate for what they lack in space with lots of fun and providing their employees with vast online training and resources and most importantly – real-life professional experiences working with clients and hands-on activities that will definitely look sweet on your CV.
Your boss isn’t actually your boss
According to Dharmesh Shah’s 17 Simple Tips on Working at a Startup, “Don’t expect to have a real “manager”. If you want or need a boss, work for a big company.”
There are times when you are doing something, you wanted to ask for approval, but can’t because your boss is too busy. Startups provide you with the great challenge to own up to your decisions. You may even catch yourself in internal battles, “Are you going to do this? Are you going to implement that?”
There is no training. You do everything on your own, yet you know the whole team’s got your back when needed. Most startups have open-door policy, where you could get your voice heard during meetings. And with meetings, I mean Google Hangouts and IMs (more on this later).
Lack of structure doesn’t mean bad at all
Known to everyone that startups aren’t like these large brands that everything is well-documented and well thought-out. Startups often have more leniencies towards certain situations. Startup companies are where decisions are made faster, thus, you’ve got to think on your feet and act accordingly.
Emails are out, IMS are in
Communication may make or break a business. A startup’s productivity depends on it. The need to contact colleagues, managers and even customers over a matter lies on that single communication platform – and for a progressing business; electronic mail (e-mail) is not the number one choice. Brainstorming is as fast as your Snapchat photos expire, communications are done throughout HangOuts and client briefings are often done on Skype with many startups allowing remote and distributed team.
They don’t sit around with a pile of cash from investors
While we often read of many startups getting acquired for millions of dollars, if not millions, not all startups are created equal. Let us be realistic, most startups are not that Cinderella kind of fairytale with unlimited funds. Most of them fail. And this is the reason why people don’t just sit around with tons of cash at hand. Startup employees along with the founders work hard, make decisions quick and implement them quicker with the hopes of growing into the massive company while retaining the great culture. The only thing that’s probably unlimited is coffee though.
Not all offices are Google-like
You’re probably imagining that all startups offices have colorful offices like Google. Truth is, some offices may not be far from it. Aside from free lunch and unlimited coffee, depending on whichever industry the startup may be serving, there may be free concert pass and quarterly team building travels.
Working for a startup may not sound as glamorous as working for corporations, but you will have hands-on experiences and get to work with really amazing people who will teach you valuable lessons, which you wouldn’t have learned in any other ways.