The decision to join a startup is not always easy. It is a record that 90% of startups fail. Pushing the regular, recurring thought that raises questions such as:
Am I willing to take risks? Am I fit for a startup? When you accept a job offer from a startup, you’re working for a company that may not exist in five or ten years.
But that risk may pay off. Billionaire brands like Facebook, Apple, and Amazon started small. Just 20 years ago, working at Netflix would have been frowned upon. Blockbuster was a safe option. Fast forward to 2014, and all remaining Blockbuster stores are closing. Meanwhile, Netflix has over 137 million subscribers.
Opportunities to join the next Netflix come along rarely, but these examples should serve as a reminder that saying yes to joining a startup can change the course of your career. We don’t know if or when the company will take off. It might be worth taking a chance. Or it may not.
Ultimately, you’ll have to answer a variety of questions to make sure you are fit for a startup. Some questions you have to ask yourself; others you should ask during the interview process.
Questions to ask before determining if you are fit for a startup:
Before you sit in front of the CEO, there are a few questions you should ask yourself to make sure you’re making the right decisions.
Here are four questions you should ask yourself before knowing if you are a fit for a startup.
1. Can you afford this?
Depending on when you join the team and how well the company performs, you have to admit the hard truth. Standard plans don’t always get paid. Former Yelp chief operating officer Geoff Donaker says after three months, a prospective employee should prepare to go six months without pay and assume the stock is worth zero. Maybe not, but with the right resources and savings, the whole startup could be a little less stressful.
2. What can I learn?
When you take a risk, you want to make sure it pays off not just financially but professionally as well. Startup environments rarely focus on just one or two tasks. Small teams usually have to take on multiple tasks. This is valuable as it often results in more autonomy in what you learn.
Are there any skills you can acquire for this role? Then now might be the right time to join the team.
Read: What are the Top Funding Options for Startup Ventures?
3. Who are the founders? Do I believe in their vision?
Understanding the founders and their backgrounds is very important. First-time startup? Are you new to the industry? How do you keep up with innovation? What is your vision for the company? The answers to these questions will determine how you lead your organization. For example, if this is your first startup, are you sure you can successfully navigate the company strategically through uncertainty?
You will entrust the next step in your career to these people and spend more time with them than you do with your own friends and family. You must trust and believe in your vision.
Founders also tend to set the tone and culture of the company early on, and their decisions have ramifications over time. If the scores don’t match, consider it an early warning sign that the road ahead may be rough. It’s also important to remember that startup culture is inherently different from corporate culture. You have to evaluate if it’s right for you.
4. Where is the industry headed?
If you’re concerned about job security, analyze the industry you work in. For example, if you work in the hospitality industry, Airbnb may have more growth opportunities than your local hotel chain.
Find out what the future holds for your industry and whether the startup you’re joining is tackling a big challenge or a worthwhile opportunity. Over 2.4 million new healthcare jobs are expected to be created by 2026. This is largely because start-ups are being forced to evolve and adapt to the industry. Is a similar opportunity emerging in your industry? Is your potential company ready to make a big impact?
Now, that you have asked personal questions and they are out of the way. A full understanding of startups is needed. So we will be giving the tremendous pros and the sad cons of startups.
Pros of Working With a Startup
Startups are small and not so structured. However, they are also innovative and are constantly improving their business model, processes, and portfolio. These allow them to easily adapt to disruptive technologies and changing market conditions. It makes you wonder if being fit for startup matters since they mostly have it covered.
Established companies have a high administrative burden. Startups, on the other hand, offer more efficient, cost-effective, and competitive services. They are mostly aware of their limitations and tend to focus on their core strengths. This inspires them to work with other smaller organizations. Thereby, customers often benefit from a superior value proposition.
- Team culture
As cliche as this may sound, employees of large companies are mostly attracted by prestige and high salaries. They tend to lose sight of the company’s vision, mission, values, and customer success. Startup employees form a close-knit community that shares passions, beliefs, and values. They must work together for the benefit of the company, their customers, and the world at large. This makes fitting in seem so seamless if you share this ideology.
Startups are known for having this magic to offer their products and services with a personal touch. This creates a unique and personal experience for their customers and clients. Startups also take time to research and understand their customers’ business needs. This allows them to build lasting relationships with specific offers and responsive solutions.
Startup employees are known for their ability to multitask. Imagine a seller doubling as a manager. This provides continuity in customer relationships and enables startups to respond to emergencies. Most startups support learning and have higher fault tolerance. Both factors increase the diversity of a startup’s workforce.
The flexibility of startups makes them fun to work with. This is because if certain things are not working with them, they can easily switch them up till they find what does. They also can work where and how it suits them.
Cons of Working With a Startup
- Precarious job security
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 50% of startups with employees can survive the first five years. Tech start-ups are particularly vulnerable, as they can go bankrupt due to technological advances and the threat of new and improved innovations.
For these reasons, working at a startup often does not guarantee job stability or security. As soon as the startup shuts down, you have to find another job.
- A lot of hard work
Working at a startup usually comes with more responsibilities than at a more established company. For some, this is an advantage. For others, this can lead to work-related stress due to a heavy workload and responsibilities. more common.
- Long Work Hours
Many startup employees have to work long hours with limited holidays and vacations. This is especially true in the early days of startups, as these new businesses need to capitalize on trends quickly to experience early growth. Working hours are often flexible, but startup employees often have to work longer hours than the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. position.
- Lesser wages
Many startups are unable to pay real value to their employees until the startup has achieved significant growth and revenue growth. As a result, working for a start-up often means making less money. Unlike being at a more established company.
- Lack of structure
Startups often lack structure as management and founders tend to interact with employees. Rather than having a clear hierarchy of power and influence, as is the case in more established corporate organizations, start-ups tend to be confused about who oversees what. This can lead to confusion and uncertainty in the workplace as employees don’t know who to contact regarding a particular issue.
- Limited resources
Career development resources are often limited in new startups and may not be available until the startup is more established and generating sufficient revenue.
- Extreme Freedom
Freedom is great, and some pros like it, but too much freedom can be a disadvantage for others. Startups often offer their employees a great deal of freedom and expect them to thrive under these conditions. However, if you just want to focus on one skill or task, the freedom a startup offers might not be for you.
We understand that deciding if you are a fit for a startup can be challenging. But After checking all the information, we have provided you with. Be sure to know that, you’ll have to do a comparison with the startup you are looking to work with. Don’t just look at the pros and cons on a general note but at the level of your startups and decide what you can or can’t do. Good luck with making that call
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