Updated May 31, 2023
Advantages & Disadvantages of Working for a Startup
Working Startup – This is the age of Millennials. They love to take a risk and jump out of bed with excitement about any entrepreneurial venture. But not all start an experience right away. Most Millenials begin to work in a startup to feel the thrill and excitement of an entrepreneurial venture. But if you’re one of them, do you know there’s another side to it too? If you think you need to face reality, this is the piece you should read.
In this article, we will talk about the cons and pros of working for a startup. Yes, many are working for startup benefits, but there are dark spots. This article will help you decide whether to join a startup. Let’s look at the cons first, and then we will look at the bright side.
Read on. If someone selects you for a job in a startup, this is a must-read for you.
Demerits of Working for a Startup
First, let’s talk about the most challenging ones and then conclude with the tiny ones you may handle with hard work and dedication.
1. The risk is distributed to you as a member of the company
Starting a venture carries considerable risk. A very faint-hearted person is not ideal for handling the stress of creating an entrepreneurial experience. For a long time, the companies in the market have already taken the risk and handled it well; that’s why they still exist. In the case of startups, the risk is still on, and the company members are much less. So, being in a team also affects you when a threat is taken, like funding a new project or borrowing a considerable sum of money from debtors. 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 newborn 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 constantly worry about getting funding. If the startup is not well-funded, it isn’t easy to run or even exist. How would you expect to be paid more than the industry standards during this situation? You won’t. You will get more benefits at the maximum, but if you’re eyeing the money, you will be disappointed. If you’re considering the option of joining a startup, think twice. If money is important to you, you may 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 does our effort have an opportunity cost too? For example, if you invest all your effort in one project, you’ll be left with nothing for other things. Our effort-making capability is limited, and we can only put effort into something that matters to us (unconsciously or consciously). Think about it, what if your action would be able to create better fruits if you would’ve invested it elsewhere?
In a startup, you need to put in all your effort. You have nothing but the best time for the day. It’s like building a business but never owning it. Before you join any startup, consider why you want to join and ponder over the opportunity cost of effort you need to bear.
You may be the person who is not risk-averse. But putting all your years into something that doesn’t give you enough security isn’t brilliant. Do you think any customer will love a company that doesn’t protect 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, fixed pay (because you’re investing most of your life there), and good working in a startup environment. A startup may offer you a good working environment, but there’s no security in 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 your full potential. All professionals shouldn’t worry about that. But it’s about security, the essential criteria for professional life – the 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 bad, but you should consider dealing with it upfront if it’s distress.
As you can understand, in a high-intensity environment, under too much workload experiencing distress is a natural phenomenon. If you join a startup, you must also consider how you would deal with the by-product distress.
6. Lack of structure
Very rarely a startup has the structure to operate at a profit level. What are the reasons? The people who lead are primarily inexperienced and need to learn how to handle people constantly. As a result, the startup starts with a passion but only sometimes finds the right direction.
No unity of command decides what to do and to whom that person would report. Thus, it creates chaos in the environment, and proper workflow is disturbed.
Even the processes are only in coordination sometimes. Because things are just starting, the founders could be more-experienced.
Advantages of joining a startup
Joining a startup also has 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 only some people’s cup of tea. By going through the following advantages, you will understand why.
1. 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.” A startup may provide you the autonomy you want if you’re like that. So, naturally, you become more responsible for working for a startup.
When you work in a startup, the most important thing is that there are few organization members. So you get to handle a ton of projects by yourself, and you get to talk to senior management immediately. Even you become responsible for making many meaningful decisions that affect the organization’s future.
Imagine yourself being an entrepreneur. You get to do it all by yourself. If you dream of becoming an entrepreneur, here’s your chance! Join a startup, learn things, and then start on your own.
People who like to become entrepreneurs often like it because they want the freedom to create whatever they want, earn as much as they would like, and schedule their time at their convenience. But you can get that freedom without risking being an entrepreneur. You can do that simply by joining a startup.
Once you join a startup and if you take care of content, you will be 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 the 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?
3. More challenges
When you join a startup and become a part of a small dynamic team, you have more responsibility. With more commitment, 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), the more challenges you face to make them right.
And those challenges make you a better professional, teach you a ton, and prepare you for any contingency.
If you join a startup, one thing is clear – you will become a great crisis manager. If you don’t handle the crisis, none can do that. So, you learn faster and better and gradually make yourself an indispensable employee of the organization. In big organizations, the chances of making mistakes are minimal. People on the top don’t allow you to do things your way; thus, you’re always wary of making mistakes, making progress, and learning something or two.
Challenges make you a better professional. If you join a startup, then you will become a better professional.
4. Steep learning curve
As you’re allowed to make mistakes in a startup, you will grow multifold. You need to learn in a startup to decide what would benefit the company in the future.
So, you feel compelled to learn faster and better and gradually become a learning machine. It has many sound side effects. You become indispensable to the company. Compared to your peers in a large company, you are more proficient in numerous skills. You begin to handle things better. You start to make good decisions because you can make some terrible decisions initially. And lastly, you soon reach a position where you can lead a whole team under your supervision.
A startup environment is unstructured and complex; thus, you learn much more than in any structured organization.
5. Get to higher rung easily
Most startup organizations follow a flat structure. So the people who are the best win. There needs to be more bureaucracy in the organization. If you’re good and work hard, you will win at the end of the day.
There is less room for succession planning in a startup because people are significantly fewer. So, if you’ve been in a startup for the last five years, you can quickly become a department’s senior manager or vice president. Yes, you need to prove your worth as a professional, and you need to 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 the wrong question. The right question is, “Am I ready to take the risk of being an entrepreneur and would like to grow multifold?” If this is the question, and you believe you’re the perfect one for the role with your inherent belief and sentiment, then you should join a startup and fuel your dreams.
But not everyone would be ready to sacrifice the security of a paycheck and join a startup. Thus, this article is a reality check for those who think they can join a startup.
Only join a startup if you’re willing to take the risk. But suppose you have the ambition to start something on your own and need a training ground to do just that. In that case, you can invest your first 5-10 years in a startup that will help you build your foundation and offer you opportunities that will challenge you and make you a better professional.
Finally, it would help if you decided what’s best for you – joining a startup or going for a giant, more structured company.
This has been a guide to Advantages & Disadvantages of Working for a Startup. Here we have discussed the basic concept with pros and cons respectively. You may look at the following articles to learn more –