Making the Switch – MNC to Startup

Let’s hear from Ms Annie Lee from CHOPE. Where she took the step forth and made that ‘switch’ from a MNC to a Startup. 


What most if not all would hope for is a stable job that provides a stable income. Out of 10 or even 20, only perhaps 1 will make that jump to the unknown. And here we have Ms Annie Lee from Chope, letting us rewind a little back in time, jumping to that unknown with her again.

First, you ought to know a little about her background! Annie, is from an Engineering background with her undergrad and post graduate degrees both in Engineering. Internships and Jobs? Engineering focused as well. Relocating to Singapore was her first move and just at the right point, an opportunity came by for her. An opportunity to work at Chope.

Before we go further, a brief information about Chope.

Too busy to make a phone reservation? With a few clicks, Chope achieves it for you! With over 200 restaurants on its listing, you can just book a table from its site or via iPhone and Android application. Hassle-free!

Thus, intrigued by the Startup scene in Singapore, Annie believes that bringing the dining landscape to be part of technology, it will evolve. She then took the leap, from a MNC to Chope. When Startup Jobs Asia asks her about the differences between MNCs and Startups, she said, “All the typical stereotypes are basically true!” Well… how about her thoughts about working in a MNC and Startup?

Quoted from Annie, “They each have their own pros and cons, and I believe it’s a matter of what suits your personality. Not all MNCs and Startups are the same either! The best thing about Chope is the free food, and perks like being able to bring your pet to work.”

And now we come to the question that everyone has been dying to know. Why would a person with a stable job and income make the switch, stepping into something new and unfamiliar?

Quoted from Annie, “Being an engineer (or ex-engineer) and hearing all the exciting startup stories, I’ve always wanted to be part of one. When the opportunity came up, I couldn’t say no.”

Simply said.

Most would have thought about how different is a MNC compared to a Startup? Isn’t it the same? Just an office with a smaller team doing the same tasks as what people working for an MNC will do? How shocking can it be changing to a Startup environment?

Annie replied, “I thought I was prepared, but perhaps reality is always different from perception! The obvious difference is the pace of the work and taking ownership for your work.”

Now that Annie had started working for a Startup, we were wondering if she had wished that this ‘switch’ was made sooner. Quoted from her, “This is a tough one to answer! I really enjoyed the team I was with at the MNC so I can’t say I have any regrets.”

So perhaps, personality and the team you work with do play an important part no matter you are in an MNC or a Startup!

Any lesson(s) MNCs could learn from Startup?

“From my limited experience, I would say that MNCs could do a better job making their employees feel valued,” replied Annie.

So when it comes to the ‘unstable and extremely high mortality rate’ of Startups, what is her opinion on this? Annie feels that there is a risk for every job taken and as long as one is working in a smaller team that needs to see results fast, if one is unable to deliver it, it’s probably quite obvious then.

So now, tell us. What is the success secret recipe for Chope?

“The team. About half of us are part of the early days and when you find a team that have a common vision, we spend less time arguing about what to do and spend more time actually doing,” she says.

How about 5 to 10 years down to road? Where do you see yourself and Chope?

Straightforwardly, she replied, “We would have hopefully achieved what we set out to do!”

Startups walking the success street will expand and grow. We wonder if that is so, will it become more and more corporate-oriented. Thus we ask Annie what is her view on it and she replied, “To some extent it will be necessary to keep things running. A team of 6 VS a team of 15 will have to operate differently. The culture is still the same, just more “organized.”

Coming to the end of the interview, Startup Jobs Asia popped another question.

What is the one advice that you will give to everybody out there who is now considering making a career change from a MNC to a Startup?

And her advice is…

“Be willing to step up and be flexible on your job scope. I was hired for sales, moved on to operations and am now in marketing. Communication is also key in a small team….”

Having read this from Annie’s view. What are your views? Startup Jobs Asia would like to hear them!

On an end note, Startup Jobs Asia would like to thank Annie for taking the time to have this dialogue session with us!


Read also: 5 Things I Love About Working in a Startup


Article contributed by Startup Jobs Asia‘s Team.

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