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Determined to have a structured 9-to-5 job? We have bad news for you; you won’t find that at a startup. More often than not, working at a startup means working late, taking your job home, and even working over the weekends. Of course, it also brings some benefits such as the ability to take a few hours off in the morning or to run a few important errands during the day. However, you must keep in mind that your work-life balance will not be as structured as for those working in larger corporations.
Apart from the stress associated with having a poorly defined work-life structure, pressing deadlines and increased accountability, young companies are very dynamic. You’ll be responsible for a wider range of tasks, and your role will most likely change within a short period of time. It will often seem as though there is too much to do in too little time. This means that you are going to be working in what seems to be a chaotic environment of constant change. So you should be ready to deal with big changes in both the company’s direction as well as your responsibilities.
At startups it’s often the case that ‘everyone does everything’. The roles are not clearly defined, so you get to put on many different hats and solve different problems. If you always felt like a ‘Jack of all trades’, and the prospect of facing multi-disciplinary challenges excites you, a startup is a great place to develop yourself professionally and never be stuck in a routine. However, as mentioned before, this often means your role and focus will change frequently.
Startups in the initial stages are generally dependent on funding from investors, loans, crowd funds, and private savings. This often means that they do not have much to spend. This can mean employees receive a lower salary and have fewer people on their team to work with. Startups may also have tighter project budgets and fewer internal company events. All the while, employees at startups often work just as much, if not more, than those at established companies.
Apart from taking the risk of working in a company that might not even exist by the end of the year, you will also have to take risks in voicing different ideas. Some of these ideas will become a great success; some of them will be thrown away quickly. So long as you are brave enough to try things that are unconventional and are not afraid of being criticized!
Committing to a startup requires everyone on the team to believe in the company’s vision and its products or services. You must be determined to do your best and be devoted to the company, otherwise any obstacles and hard times you face will be unbearable. At the end of the day, all team members will be equally liable for the success of the project. You have to be ready to go all-in and keep moving forward – whatever the circumstances!
Having read this, do you feel anxious or motivated? Whatever your answer is, we suggest you assess your values and aspirations. Then, decide whether the perks of startup life outweigh the risks in your eyes. We hope that you will then come closer to knowing if you belong in a startup!
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