If you have the freedom to choose where to work, it is a good time to consider how you would like your ideal job to be; In a multinational, SME, self-employment .. Or a startup!
A startup is a small company of recent creation, with highly innovative and technological potential, where its model is scalable and its growth can be exponential. Google, Uber, Airbnb … are some of the best known and most successful examples in the world.
Every time there are more entrepreneurial projects that are consolidating as companies ( see world map of startups) and many are looking for collaborators in their beginnings. Small company, scarce resources and few personnel but full of enthusiasm, energy and motivation to take the project forward, are the main characteristics of a startup. Starting to work in one of them since its inception, can be a great opportunity for many professionals.
Advantages of working in a startup
Maximum implication and decision power
Working in a company from the beginning, implies that it will be shaped and changed depending on the response of the market and not hierarchical orders. You will understand why these decisions are made, your proposals will be heard and considered. Even if you are not the owner of the company, you will always be closer to the decision-making body.
Working side by side with the rest of the team from the roots of the project, being one of them, will generate a much greater degree of involvement than in any large company where the hierarchy, responsibilities and routine tasks are clearly determined.
Multitask , teamwork and learning
The shortage of resources and personnel, makes everyone do a bit of everything. Although in a multidisciplinary team each will have their tasks and responsibilities, in the end, everyone helps and cooperates, so you will end up doing several tasks at the same time, learning from other disciplines and acquiring a global vision of the company.
It is a more dynamic, proactive and teamwork. You will not get bored of performing monotonous tasks and you will be in constant change and learning, which will be enriching for your professional and personal experience.
The constant process of improvement and evolution in the project and the tendency to try new things is called innovation. In a startup, this component is the order of the day, much more than in a consolidated company with its established routines and difficult to change.
You will be up to date with innovative concepts, generally technological, and yourself if you are creative and proactive, you will be the one who proposes new ideas, tools, processes … However, on many occasions, you will discover that even if a proposal is brilliant, there is no time No money to carry it out. You will learn to prioritize tasks and optimize resources.
Direct contact with the market
The deal with customers will be personalized, which does not mean being less professional, but having a first-hand contact with the market and the needs of the client. This direct feedback will allow you to redirect and optimize your product/service to adapt it to the satisfaction of your customers.
In large companies, the managers with decision-making power, do not usually deal with the client one-on-one unless they are as big as the company itself, so it will give you a very valuable experience in both areas.
How many years do you need to ascend to high positions in a large company? Probably, many to be offered that opportunity or that position is unattainable. In a startup the evolution of things goes much faster, you can start as a collaborator and ascend to an executive position quickly as the workforce grows. The CEO will trust the workers who know the product, who have been since the first day and have grown up with the company to management positions with greater responsibilities and decision-making power.
Disadvantages of working in a startup
High degree of mortality and uncertainty
In spite of the proliferation of entrepreneurial projects, close to 75% fail during the first year and 90% do not surpass the two years of life as a company. The lack of resources, financing and a customer acquisition that makes the company viable, are the main reasons why many ideas stay on the road.
If you are working in a startup you should be aware of this situation, that your time in the company may be limited and the career projection may be frustrated. If you are looking for stability, it may not be the best option.
When we talk about scarcity of resources within the company, it is in every way, also in personnel. In many cases, the promoters of the project do not have any kind of remuneration and the profits are reinvested to keep growing. The budget assigned to staff goes to employees or first employees, who will have temporary contracts, part-time, in training … that is, applying all formulas that allow entrepreneurs to optimize these items or can offer shares of the company with the risk what they suppose. Not because they do not want to reward workers, but because there are no means.
High levels of stress
Working in a startup involves 100% dedication. Forget about schedules, vacations and weekends, since the delivery to the project means that you do not depend on the festivities of a working calendar to use. Customers and users must be taken care of and at the beginning there is a lot to do, to create and time runs against. Know how to take advantage of the little free time there is and know how to rest and stop in time when necessary, it is vital to be able to carry that level of stress and work.
Are you ready to work in a startup?
If you consider that you are creative and with autonomy at work, you want to work in an innovative and dynamic environment and above all, you are willing to dedicate a large part of your time to working at the frenetic pace of a startup, this is your place. We must be aware that in the beginning, we have to give a lot in exchange for very little and then, in the best of cases, the results will be surprising.
So, go ahead and look for employment among this type of companies, the experience and learning will be unique and very valuable at all levels.
How to find employment in a startup?
If you do not know how to start, we give you some tips to access it:
Come to the coworking centers, business accelerators, incubators … where most of them are installed and show your interest in collaborating.
Search on the internet what type of startups you are interested in and get in touch with the CEOs showing your interest in working and collaborating for them. In most websites you will find sections such as Who are we ?, Do you work with us ?, The team … where you will know who has formed the project. It is usually very easy to know who is behind, they have a high visibility, unlike in large companies where it is difficult to know who are the high-middle managers