Working Startup – This is the age of millenials. They love to take risk and jump off from the bed with excitement when they think about any entrepreneurial venture. But not all start a venture right away. Most of the millenials begin to work in a startup to feel the trill and excitement of an entrepreneurial venture. But if you’re one of them, do you know there’s other side to it as well? If you think you need to face the reality, this is the piece you should definitely read.
In this article, we will talk about the cons and pros of working for a startup. Yes there are a lot of working for a startup benefits, but there are dark spots as well. This article is written with the purpose of helping you decide whether you should join a startup or not. Let’s look at the cons first and then we will look at the bright side.
Read on. If you’ve been selected for a job in a startup, this is a must read for you.
Demerits of working for a startup
To begin with let’s talk about the most challenging ones and then we will conclude with the tiny ones that you may handle with your hard work and dedication.
The risk is distributed on you as a member of the company
Starting a venture carries huge risk. A very faint hearted person is not the ideal one for handling the stress of starting an entrepreneurial venture. But the companies which are in the market for a long time have already taken the risk and handled it well, that’s why they still exist. In case of startups, the risk is still on and the members of the company are much less. So, by virtue of being in a team, when there’s a risk to be taken, like funding a new project or borrowing a huge sum of money from debtors, you also get affected in the process. If you’re ready to be part of that risk-taking team and often failing at doing something, you can choose to join a startup. Remember you’re holding a new-born baby in your hand which is very feeble. If you’re not careful, the baby can affect you and also itself in the process.
The startup is usually the place where people expect to earn more. But the reality is different. All the startups are bottlenecked for financing themselves and always worry about getting funding. If the startup is not well-funded then it’s difficult to run on or even exist. During this situation how would you expect that you’ll be paid more than the industry standards? You won’t. Maximum you will get some more benefits, but if you’re eyeing on the money, you will be thoroughly disappointed. If you’re considering the option of joining a startup, think twice. If money is important to you, then maybe you need to look through options in the market other than the startups.
Most people talk about opportunity cost when they need to invest their money into something. But do you think that our effort has an opportunity cost too? For example, if you invest all your effort in one project, then you’ll be left with nothing for other things. Our effort-making capability is limited and we can only put our effort into things that matter to us (unconsciously or consciously). Think about it, what if your effort would be able to create better fruits if you would’ve invested it elsewhere?
In a startup, you need to put all your effort. You’re left with nothing but the rest time for the day. It’s like building a business, but never owning it. So, before you join any startup think about why you want to join and also ponder over the opportunity cost of effort you need to bear for the same.
You may be a sort of person who is not risk-averse. But it’s foolish to put all your years in something that doesn’t give you enough security. Do you think any customer will love a company which doesn’t provide security to the customer in the form of guarantees and excellent customer service? No. Same with you!
If you want to join a startup, you need at least the security of a job, a fixed pay (because you’re investing majority of your life there) and good working in a startup environment. A startup may offer you a good working environment, but it may so happen that there’s no security of the job that you do or will do. What then?
Remember, we’re not talking about safety here. It’s okay to go beyond your safety zone and reach for your full potential. All professionals shouldn’t worry about that. But it’s about security, the basic criteria for a professional life – salary at the end of the month, long term commitment and good people. A startup is not always able to provide all three. You may take the risk, but think and prepare before you join.
Having stress is not always a bad thing, but if it’s distress then you should think about dealing with it upfront.
As you can understand in high intensity environment, under too much workload experiencing distress is a natural phenomenon. So, if you join a startup you also need to think about how you would deal the by-product distress.
Lack of structure
Very rarely a startup has the needed structure to operate at a level of making profits. What are the reasons? The people who lead are mostly un-experienced and they don’t know how to handle people all the time. As a result of that, the startup gets started with a passion, but not always finds the right direction.
Even there is no unity of command which decides what should one do and whom that person would report to. Thus, it creates a chaos in the environment and proper workflow is being disturbed.
Even the processes are not in co-ordination always. Because things are just starting out and the founders are relatively less-experienced.
Advantages of joining a startup
Having said that, joining a startup has also some advantages! Giant organizations are unable to provide such benefits. And thus, you may feel inspired to join a startup once you know them.
Working in a startup is not everyone’s cup of tea. By going through following advantages you would understand why.
You’re more responsible in a startup
If you’re one of a kind who says – “I don’t want anyone to tell me what to do always. I want to do my stuff all by myself.” If you’re like that, then maybe a startup will provide you with the autonomy you want. So, naturally you become more responsible working for a startup.
The most important thing when you work in a startup is there are very few members in the organization. So you get to handle a ton of projects all by yourself and you get to talk to the senior management right away. Even you become responsible for making a lot of meaningful decisions which affect the future of the organization.
Imagine yourself being an entrepreneur. You get to do all by yourself. If dream of being an entrepreneur in future, here’s your chance! Join a startup, learn the things and then start on your own.
People who like to become entrepreneurs often like it because they want freedom; freedom to create whatever they want to create, freedom to earn as much they would want to make and freedom to schedule their time as per their own convenience. But truth is you can get that freedom without taking the risk of an entrepreneur. You can do that simply by joining a startup.
Once you join a startup and if you take care of content, you would be viewed as a content strategist, content head and content builder. If it’s about content they will come to you. And at the same time, you can be flexible about your work. You can choose the work hours and do your part to make the organization reap benefits.
So once you join a startup, you have the freedom to be owner of your little corner, you can choose your time of work and at the same time help the organization build itself by utilizing your skills and business acumen.
It’s all an entrepreneur wants. Don’t you?
When you join a startup and become a part of a small dynamic team, you have more responsibility. With more responsibility, you need to make more decisions. And quite often than not, you make mistakes. Mistake is part of being human. More mistakes you make (not similar ones), more challenges you face to make them right.
And those challenges make you a better professional, teach you a ton and make you prepared for any contingency.
So, if you join a startup, one thing is clear – you would become a great crisis manager. If you don’t handle the crisis, there is none who can do that. So, you learn faster, better and gradually go toward making yourself an indispensible employee of the organization. In big organizations, the chances of making mistakes are very limited. People on the top don’t allow you to do things your way, thus you’re always wary of making mistakes as well as making progress and learning a thing or two.
Challenges make you a better professional. If you join a startup then you would become a better professional.
Steep learning curve
As you’re allowed to make mistakes in a startup, you will grow multifold. In startup, if you don’t learn you would not be able to decide what would be beneficial for the company in coming future.
So, you feel compelled to learn more, learn faster and better and gradually become a learning machine. It has many good side-effects. You become indispensible for the company. You learn so many skills faster than any of your peers working in a giant company. You begin to handle things better. You start to make good decisions because you’re allowed to make some terrible decisions in the beginning. And lastly, you soon reach a position from which you can lead a whole team under your supervision.
Startup environment is unstructured and complex and thus you learn much more than any structured organization.
Get to higher rung easily
Most startup organizations follow a flat structure. So the people who are the best win. There is little or no bureaucracy in the organization. If you’re good and work hard, you will win at the end of the day.
In a startup, there is less room for succession planning because people are very less. So, if you’re there in a startup for last 5 years, you’ve an opportunity to become the senior manager or vice president of a department very easily. Yes, you need to prove your worth as a professional and you need to most consistently show that you are someone who can be trusted and given more responsibility.
Thus, in a startup, you always have better opportunities for growth and learning. But there is also risk involved.
If you ask now whether you should join a startup or not, it’s a wrong question. The right question would be – “Am I ready to take the risk of an entrepreneur and would like to grow multifold?” If this is the question and you believe that you’re perfect one for the role with your inherent belief and sentiment then of course you should join a startup and fuel your dreams.
But not everyone would be ready to sacrifice their security of a pay-check and join a startup. This article is thus a reality check for those who think that they can join a startup.
If you’re not willing to take risk, don’t join a startup. But if you feel that you’ve an ambition to start something on your own one day and you need training ground to do just that, you can investment your first 5-10 years in a startup which will help you build your foundation and offer you opportunities that will challenge you and make you a better professional.
Finally, you need to decide what’s best for you – joining a startup or going for a giant, more structured company?
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the Advantages & Disadvantages of Working for a Startup so just go through the link.