Working for an ITstartup sounds attractive. Their job descriptions usually include things like “room for rapid improvement” and “fun and casual work environment”. Joining a startup can be a smart, fun, or even a life-changing move, but not all startups have the budgets or ambiance of large tech companies, nor they are run by genius visionaries. However, a new business can offer a great opportunity to learn everything about building a company from the ground up.
In many cases, working for a startup means hard work with less pay, but it can eventually pay off handsomely. It’s no secret that it involves a lot of risk, because 3 out of 4 startups fail, according to the Wall Street Journal. But even if your startup fails, you can still gain valuable skills and experience to add to your resume. Are you thinking of applying for a job at a startup? Let’s balance out all the pros and cons related to working in such young companies.
1. Are you comfortable with change?
Developed companies have well-defined procedures and processes, as well as tens and hundreds of employees that repeat the same actions every day. IT startups, on the other hand, are able and prone to make quick changes. They frequently change things from job titles to reporting structures to project plans. Some startups move their offices sever times in a few months. If you’re a type of person that needs to get acclimated to the place of work, these constant changes can be frustrating, but if you want to succeed in a startup environment, you should be afraid of the chaos. You have to embrace it. IT startups aren’t afraid of personnel shake-ups and have their eye on picking motivated, young professionals.
2. Skills and experience
Startups differ from large corporations because there are no specific job descriptions that can limit one’s duties, requiring from you to adapt and move between sets of duties. If you’re not intimidated by the startup “sink-or-swim” attitude, then this can be a wonderful opportunity for you to gain various valuable skills. Due to frequent change in job descriptions and assignments, you’ll wear a number of shoes and learn things on the fly. If things don’t work out, you’ll have added things to your resume to make it more impressive.
Working at a startup also gives chances to be a part of projects you might not get near to at another company. These projects are often high risk, but high reward, affecting the startup’s overall success. Since the entire startup culture is focused on fast growth and success, you’ll learn new skills fast. You’ll learn to do different jobs, so expect to take on more than what you were hired to do. The advantage of taking on multiple positions is learning things much faster than you would in any corporate position. In case your startup succeeds, the payout can be huge in the end.
3. Work-life balance
What makes most people stressed, when it comes to their work life, is the inability to achieve a good work-life balance. The startup culture is often presented as laid-back and relaxed, with people riding scooters to work where they’re awaited by positive and good-humored colleagues and a cup of good coffee on their tables. The truth is, startups need people that are passionate about seeing a product/service come to life, which often means working odd or long hours. Every individual is expected to be dedicated, without the assurance that they’ll have their jobs for years to come, which is not seen at a big business or corporation. The long-term success of your startup can greatly depend on each individual employee’s hard work.
Startups are quick to hire and quick to fire, so working for a startup is probably not the best choice for you if you’re looking for long-term stability. In case you are looking for something more stable, you might be better off at an established company in a stable industry, such as Youi.
However, startups are fast-evolving and dynamic work environments that value initiative, which is great for personal growth. It’s the place for all those who want to excel, grow, and find out that they’re best at.
IT startups are filled with people who are willing to have dinner while working on a project and go the extra mile, working late nights, weekends or odd hours. If you thought that you were spending a lot of time working when employed at another company, it’s nothing compared to the work you have to put in when building a startup from scratch.
4. Benefits and salary
The workload may be massive, but at least the payout isn’t huge. Hmm, wait a minute. If you don’t get paid enough for such work, why should you consider applying for a job at a startup? Money is often tight because startups are working in order to get funding. This prevents them from paying employees competitive salaries that other companies are paying to their employees. Many startups manage to counterbalance the lack of benefits and potentially low pay with different perks. For example, some startups may offer free meals and lunches, the option to work remotely from your home, or an open leave policy. On the other hand, benefits can be more abstract, and come from the satisfaction felt after a job well done.
Startups combat low salaries by offering benefits that are more intangible, such as a piece of equity in the company or the chance to build something from the ground up. Despite all these downsides, if the company goes well, there will be rewards to reap. For instance, startups often give their staff stock options early on, which will be valuable if the company takes off. If you were with the company from the beginning, there’s a potential to be promoted to a better position, which means you could become a company executive in just a few years. In businesses with a conventional hierarchy, this can’t be done that easily.
People working in startup companies are often very talented in their respective fields, and are there because they want to build something valuable. The startup becomes their life, turning a simple job into something more of a mission. Regardless of the fact that there are so many things they could do that offer better remuneration and security, they choose to do something they believe in. They take the risk and find it inspiring.
Startups aren’t for everyone. What you find as cons other person may see as pros. Before you make a move, evaluate where you see your future and what you want out of a company. A great number of startups fail, so the chances of success a low, but you’ll definitely walk away with more experience and skills that will help you find your next job.