What Job Seekers Should Prepare to Work in a Startup?

What Job Seekers Should Prepare to Work in a Startup?

An increasing number of jobseekers are expressing interest in working for startups, according to a CareerBuilder survey. In 2018, about 69 percent of respondents are keen to work in startup environments – this number is up from 59 percent in 2016 and 68 percent in 2017. Among the most common reasons for the preference to work in a startup is its better availability of learning opportunities (82 percent), followed by the ability to work closely with a group of passionate and enthusiastic colleagues, and exposure to a wide spectrum of job roles. 

But, does working in a startup really suit you? 

As stated earlier, working in a startup does come with valuable benefits such as working closely with like-minded peers and having access to collaborate directly with the co-founders since startups typically have a flat hierarchy. However, it should be noted that the risk might be greater especially if you seek financial stability and job security. The CareerBuilder survey found that 78 percent of job seekers avoid working in startups due to lack of job security and 61 percent due to lower pay. That said, before joining the team, you need to truly understand whether the startup environment is truly for you. Ask yourself these questions to help determine your true work-lifestyle. 

  • Do you genuinely enjoy working with others and have close interaction with them? 

Open office with limited personal space is very common in a startup company. You might find no cubicle and everyone working side-by-side and face-to-face. If you are easily disturbed, you might need to consider this kind of seat arrangement. Yet, you still have an option for remote working in a startup company.  

  • Do you like and know how to hustle? 

Working in a startup often requires you to have more than one hat in the workplace, meaning you might be assigned for an errand outside your job description. You are expected to juggle and hustle between one task and another. This, however, could improve your skills quickly as you can learn something new every day. 

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  • Are you ready to receive a salary below the market average and no benefits?

Lauren Berger, CEO and founder of InternQueen.com and LaurenBergerInc.com cited that there is typically little room for job seekers to negotiate salary and benefits when applying in a startup company. And if you are walking into a bootstrap startup, the number could be quite small. Yet, your salary can fluctuate a lot more than at an established corporation once the company takes off. 

  • Are you a good problem-solver? 

Problem-solving skills are not only useful when you are applying for a startup company. Indeed, the skill is essential for both your personal and professional life. However, said Berger, startups often lack resources that might make it hard for you to achieve the result you want. Therefore, problem-solving skills are especially needed when you are working in a startup. 

  • Are you patient enough for the wait? 

Not only the founder but employees of a startup company should also have enough patience to do all the work. Especially when the green startup does not run well, staff often need to wait for the payday. 

  • Are you ready for the uncertainty and challenge? 

This question is crucial to help you understand that working at a startup, especially a green startup, will give so much uncertainty, ranging from project to job security. However, all of this can be good for you who love challenges and like to break the limit. 

The three essential skills to learn 

Managing Partner Jyoti Bowen Nath wrote in her research that employers today are looking beyond conventional skill sets. About 70 percent of respondents cited that top talents today should have an “innovative attitude”. In addition, competition for top talent is at an all-time high with recruiters finding it challenging to hire candidates who fit both culturally and skill-wise. At the same time, most organisations are now looking beyond industry standards and are hiring candidates who are eager to learn. 

That being said, if you want to stand out during the startup hiring process, make sure you highlight these skills in your resume and showcase it during your interview. 

  • Adaptive skills 

Humility and domain knowledge is an absolute must if you want to get hired in any corporate, especially startups, said Harsh Snehanshu, Co-Founder and CEO of YourQuote.in. Although many companies are looking for candidates who have a thirst for learning, these businesses do not hire absolute beginners unless for certain roles such as apprenticeship or internship. Even when applying for internships, employers would prefer to hire those who have possessed basic skills, added Snehanshu. 

The startup team is young and dynamic with a lot of hunger to excel. There is nobody and never will be anyone in a startup team who is a complete noob, thus, highlighting your adaptive skills would be advantageous for you. 

  • Decision-making skills 

Startup environment is fast-paced which needs rapid, real, and correct decision-making so that it won’t lose with its business competitor. Make sure you have the basic decision-making skills and train yourself to avoid analysis paralysis, a process when you overanalyse or overthink over something, which can forward motion or decision-making to become paralysed. 

  • Problem-solution skills 

Identifying failure and bringing problems to your boss would be great as it shows how detail-oriented and how quick you learn a situation. However, it might not be wise as you only create more work for your boss and colleague. Therefore, it is a top-notch skill if you can both identify problems and bring solutions. This is key in startups where you encounter new problems all the time. 

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