Is Working at a Startup Suitable for You?

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For fresh graduates looking to land their first professional roles, startups are often seen as a great stepping stone. Being part of the ‘new’ work culture that values diversity, creativity, sustainability, and innovation seems like a dream come true, especially for millennials and Gen Zs. While startup has been the talk of the town in the last decade, it is true that working at one is not for everyone. So, how to find out if working at a startup is suitable for you?


Startups at a Glance

A startup is a business or venture founded by an individual or group of entrepreneurs with the purpose of bringing a product or service to the market and growing it into a scalable economic model. The word startup is also frequently used to refer to a technology-based firm with great growth potential. One important thing to note before working at startups is how they operate. Startups are not like other well-established businesses, especially in the early phases of operation. They are always in the development phase to keep up with fellow competitors and remain innovative. This is why you should not be surprised that even if you are not in the creative marketing department of a startup, you are always expected to come up with new ideas all year long. 

Now, as a talent, how can you tell that joining a startup is more than a fad? Startup is suitable for you if you..


1 . Are Okay Starting from Scratch

Startups are often intriguing and sustainable potentials, and many worldwide known companies began as one. Some people join startups in order to grow along with the business since its beginning, even if it means sacrificing time, energy, and money at first. You do not get to expect that all systems are fixated and all dynamics are sorted out when you work at a startup. As the startup grows, your responsibilities may change as well. You will almost certainly be asked to take on more or less roles than you did at the start. Since you will most likely be a part of building the startup to be a steady one, you need self-discipline and self-starter instincts. 


Read Also: Top 10 Women in Tech of Southeast Asian Startups


2 . Prioritize Career Growth over Money

Unfortunately, most startups are still trying to figure out how to make profit and keep it consistent. Funding from investors and venture capitals is just a common thing startups do. Some startups may be able to succeed only through bootstrapping, that is when the founders use their own money to fund their business project. Such startups may also encounter issues such as late payroll, and the buildup might take several years. Although not all startups pay low, there are many that do. That implies your income and benefits will likely be significantly lower than if you work in the same job for a well-established company. In this case, your priority should be about achieving quick career growth instead of chasing a fat paycheck. Joining a startup in its early stages provides substantial opportunities for professional progression and may frequently lead to higher-ranking jobs in a quite short period of time.


3 . Favor Authenticity

Startups are known to be companies who pay extra attention to their employees more than conventional organizations do. Since their business operation emphasizes on individual creativity, rules are more lenient in startups compared to well-established companies. Situating their office settings into a fun one with board games, bean bags, and having their employees dress up casually at work are just a few out of many features of startups. If this type of authenticity is your thing, then you can consider joining a startup, as you most likely get this kind of work environment.


4 . Are Willing to Take Risks

To achieve the company’s goals, startups adhere to the rhythm of their founders’ expectations, expectations, and working strategy. While this all sounds exciting, startup environments are inherently risky. The statistics on success vs failure lean heavily toward the latter. Approximately 90% of new startups fail. 10% of startups fail during the first year. Startup failure rates appear to be similar across all industries. Failure is most common in the second to fifth years of a startup, with 70% falling into this category. Thus, it is critical to get a sense of the startup’s mission statement and grasp the company’s expectations so you will not give up easily when things go south. 


Working in a startup full of passionate people building an innovative business may look like many people’s cup of tea, but remember; some actually prefer coffee and that is okay. Good luck on your career journey!
Read Also: Tips for Building A Women-Friendly Startup

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