Working for a startup company differs significantly from being employed by a large corporation. In a startup company you are guaranteed frequent, dynamic changes with plenty of ups and downs. The reality of a startup job is two-fold: it can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be an unstable career with a low income.
Before you decide to dive into the startup world, you should do your homework and answer the following questions: Is it the right job for you? How comfortable are you with risk and uncertainty and what are you willing to compromise? Keeping these questions in mind, let’s examine the pros and cons of working for a startup.
Joining startup can offer you:
A wealth of experience
Startups often offer employees an opportunity to perform a variety of tasks and the chance to gain valuable, hands on experience. No matter what position in the company you hold, you will learn by doing. Startups will allow you to get creative and from day one you will be given a lot of responsibility.
Being a part of a new successful company can give you the feeling of excitement and satisfaction. If you play a role in building a company from the scratch, you will have the opportunity to see, first hand, how business plans develop. You will also be able to contribute ideas to the startup. You will be surrounded by young dedicated people who work long hours to elevate the company to the next level. Startup employees are usually passionate, excited and really believe in the idea they are working on.
Startups usually start their journey with a handful of employees, which means you will be meeting your CEO or managing director every day on a personal basis. The hierarchy is often flat, therefore the working atmosphere is more friendly. Startup employees often have more flexibility and freedom when it comes to deciding their work flow and hours
In comparison to established companies that already have a network of clients and partners, startups are continuously searching for new customers and business partnerships. By taking part in startup events and conferences you will have a chance to build great relationships that might last throughout your entire career.
Downsides to working for a startup company:
Low salary and benefits
Do not expect a salary that is typical for your education / job position. Startups are very often strapped for cash and therefore cannot offer salaries and benefits that are comparable to more established companies.
Lack of structure and clear rules
Inexperienced leaders, unclear roles and procedures – are all things that every startup employee has to get used to. There might be frequent confusion about who is in charge of what. You also have to be ready to fill in for others when they are on holidays and be asked to perform duties that are very often not even close to your everyday responsibilities. In many cases you cannot rely on the help of other departments – they are simply not there.
Long working hours
It is very likely that you will have to work long hours and this can often mean sacrificing weekends. In many cases you are the only person responsible for a certain tasks and therefore, you have to work more to meet all the deadlines. And do not expect to be paid for extra hours.
Risk of failure
What if the startup you are working for fails? Many startups close down as quickly as they arise. Not knowing what the future of the business holds, lowers your job security. Nothing can be taken for granted, so be prepared for a little bit of risk.
If you think you are ready to take the plunge and commit to working in a fast paced startup, to compromise the lifework balance and to work long hours with excited and motivated people then a job in a startup is more than likely the right fit for you.