Advantages & Disadvantages of Working for a Startup
Working Startup – This is the age of Millenials. They love to take a 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 thrill and excitement of an entrepreneurial venture. But if you’re one of them, do you know there’s another side to it as well? If you think you need to face 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 many working for a startup benefits, but there are dark spots. This article is written to help 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
First, let’s talk about the most challenging ones and then conclude with the tiny ones that you may handle with your hard work and dedication.
The risk is distributed to you as a member of the company
Starting a venture carries a huge risk. A very faint-hearted person is not the ideal one for handling the stress of starting an entrepreneurial venture. The companies in the market for a long time 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, 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 isn’t easy 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. You will get some more benefits at the maximum, 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, 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 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. Before you join any startup, think about why you want to join and ponder over the opportunity cost of effort, you need to bear for the same.
You may be the sort of person who is not risk-averse. But it’s foolish to put all your years into something that doesn’t give you enough security. Do you think any customer will love a company that 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, 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 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 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 a bad thing, but if it’s distress, then you should think about dealing with it upfront.
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 also need to think about how you would deal with 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, the startup gets started with a passion but does not always find the right direction.
No unity of command decides what should one do and whom that person would report to. Thus, it creates 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 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 not everyone’s cup of tea. By going through the 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 for working for a startup.
When you work in a startup, the most important thing is that there are very few organisation members. 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 it all by yourself. If you dream of being an entrepreneur in future, 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 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 the 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 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?
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. The 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.
If you join a startup, one thing is clear – you would become a great crisis manager. If you don’t handle the crisis, none can do that. So, you learn faster, better, and gradually make yourself an indispensable 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 and 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. If you don’t learn in a startup, you would not be able to decide what would be beneficial for the company in the 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 indispensable 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.
A 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 the last 5 years, you have 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 the 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 the risk, don’t join a startup. But if you feel that you have the ambition to start something on your own one day and you need a training ground to do just that, you can invest 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?
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 –