As someone once said, “All it takes is all you’ve got”.
Working in startups is like a roller coaster ride and you have to be prepared to make the most of it. Because you’re working with such a small team, soon enough you’ll feel like you’re part of the family. This comes with emotional highs and lows. One morning you’ll be ecstatic about the recent growth in users while a few hours later you’ll feel miserable because your app crashed right in the middle of that important customer demo. Don’t worry, what does not kill you makes you stronger.
The startup environment is a very fast paced one and below is some advice that will help you better fit into the picture (or at least it helped me):
- Be passionate about your work – If you’re passionate about what you’re doing you will appreciate learning new things and improving your work. You will also value your time and won’t sit in front of the computer waiting for the clock to tick 5:30pm. You want to be proud of your work!
- Take ownership – you probably won’t be micromanaged as most of the startup people do have a lot on their plate. So, get used to being your own boss!
- Help out – your help might be needed in areas that are not in your job description so don’t hesitate to help out. People you help will quickly become your friends and remain so even after the startup experience!
- Get inspired – Let the people inspire you. Most of them will talk for hours about their ideas and strategies. Don’t stop them, learn to listen and be inspired!
- Have fun – Usually startup founders are relaxed and fun individuals. Most everything is permitted in a startup so don’t be afraid to push the envelope. Don’t be shy, play along and you’ll enjoy every moment of it!
My experience with working in startups started during my masters degree. I’ve started off as an intern assisting with organising events for entrepreneurs with a London startup and after a while I began working full-time as an event manager.
Gathered from my experience, I’m going to share with you a few reasons why I think working in a startups is awesome:
- No processes/procedures and other bureaucratic systems. It refreshing! That means that you can actually do some work without asking for approval all the time and filling in useless papers. Productivity and a better use of your time is what you will get out of it.
- You can actually have an opinion that matters and can influence the business. As startups have small teams, you can make your voice easily heard so your opinions are valued in startups.
- Working on something meaningful, as most startups have innovative ideas that are meant to challenge and change industries and maybe the world. I found this part of the job very motivational as you feel you have a greater purpose to achieve.
- Learning things that you never dreamed of learning. I found this amazingly challenging as we all want to learn something new once in a while. In startups you will do that all the time as these business need fast growth and that can only be achieved with constant skills development. I never thought my job as an events manager will actually require programming skills and even acting skills 🙂
- The excitement! is the most important reason why you should work in startups. It was a very strange discovery for me that you can actually love your job to an extent to which you can be emotionally attached to the business. I even found myself in the situation of literally jumping out for joy in the office because we have been mentioned in an important newspaper. Well, these things are very common in startups as you think of the business as “your baby” 🙂
Overall it’s an amazing ride that will help you grow as an individual both in terms of knowledge and as experience gained. I think everyone should experience this least once in their lifetime as the lessons you’ll learn are most valuable to your professional self.