You want to get that first job and are looking at various industries, or possibly you are looking for a career change. The words startup appears more and more often during your online job search. You start to become curious and started to imagine the appeal of working in a startup company. How do you assess whether you are a good fit into a startup company?
For every successful startups companies, there will be a lot of failing ones. You have probably heard of all the successful startup company stories, of how giants like Facebook and Amazon had humble beginnings and are now among the top 10 most valuable companies in the world. However, startups was no longer the niche it was decades ago. Today, startup companies are mainstream and many who are working for them are held to a high regard. But do not let your wild imaginations control your logical thinking. You need to compare the effort needed to work in a startup company against your willingness and your eagerness to be able to work in a startup.
Think long and hard
Before getting (over)excited about potentially working in a startup company, think about this big change in work culture. Research the company that you are interested in joining, and question yourself on why this position is for you. Look at this job opportunity from a different perspective: do you want to join a company in the very beginning where the company is a few people crammed into a small space or do you want to join a company that has already established itself and has proven to be successful? The newer the startup company, the less structured there is in the company. Which do you prefer: more structured or less structure?
Why do you want to be a part of a startup company? Are you looking to work in a startup company as a opportunity to polish some of your skills or do you want to create something that has never been done before? Understanding what are your motivations and intentions will identify what you truly are looking for. Do not forget to consider what skills that the startup company lacks that you can contribute which will make you more valuable. In a startup company, you need to competent in several fields as you will be changing your job scope in the company as it is growing. Do not be surprised that you will be from product engineering to ops to management.
Spend time with the startup team
In order for you to be as comfortable as possible, in any company, try to get a small peek on what is going on an average day. If you can, spend a few days with the company. Get to know the staff and make sure that you click well with them as you will be working together with them quite often! Make sure that you also fit right into the company’s work ethic and culture. Also, do not forget to mingle the leaders/founders; figure out what motivates them in the company. You need to be motivated and eager to work in the startup company, if these people that you will spend a lot of time will does not make you excited, maybe this company is not for you.
Start comparing other alternatives
Joining a startup company is not just joining any ordinary 9 hour job. It is a lifestyle that you have to adapt. If you are joining a startup with the hope that once it goes big, you will then sit back and reap all the rewards, disregard that thought. Come into the assumption that there is no equity and then ask yourself: will I still want to be a part of the company? The hours put in will be long, there will be many long, arduous days filled with high tension and stress. Furthermore, if you other obligations such as a family, kids, or a partner, the risks are a lot higher for you to provide for them. Talk to them first and ask for their advice.
Do not close the door
If you find out that the startup company is not a good fit for you, do not think that all startups are the same. Every company is unique and different. There is always a startup company that suits you best! You just need to invest time and due diligence.
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