With more and more startups turning into great success stories, working in such companies has emerged as quite an appealing career option in recent times. Yes, you’ll be paid less and enjoy fewer perks and benefits than what you’d get in a corporate job. But there are other reasons to choose a startup gig with a moderate pay over a high-paying position at some famous brand. However, for a job aspirant fresh from the university, the startup sector can appear a bit foreign and confusing. Also, while it is an excellent employment option for some, it can be thoroughly unsuitable for others. Here is why you should or should not consider taking up a position at a startup venture.
Pros of Joining a Startup Company
1. More responsibility
Working in a startup means that you’d have to take more responsibility, often beyond the particular skill set for which you are hired. You’ll get to work with the senior management of the company and be part of the decisions which shape the future of the company. As a part of the small team running the company, you will get to introduce systems and practices within the organization and build effective structures of your own choosing.
2. Great learning opportunities
As an employee in a small but innovative startup company, you get to work closely with the highly passionate entrepreneurs, innovators, visionaries and other extremely talented people. No big corporate concerns are going to provide you this space. Also, working in a startup means that you’d probably have to wear multiple hats. This creates an opportunity to learn new things and acquire new skills or experiences. This is never the case in the corporate world where the big companies prefer to restrict the employee to a specific role or set of tasks and doesn’t like diversification.
3. Favorable work environment
As creativity and innovation are crucial to the success of the startup companies, they strive to create a motivating work environment for their employees. Often the hierarchy in the workspace is less intimidating; everyone works as a team. Codes of conduct at the workspace can be pretty relaxing. Many startup companies actually encourage you to work in a casual setup and even wear informal or casual clothes to the office. The working hours can be extremely flexible, the work weeks much shorter and some companies have provisions for work from home as well.
4. Be more visible as an employee
In sharp contrast to the large corporate houses, the small team of employees at a startup ensures that your work as an employee is immediately recognized and awarded. In a big company with a large pool of workers, it is more than probable that your contributions to the company get ignored. The interdependent work culture among the employees in a startup means that everyone is quick to acknowledge their teammates’ contributions and congratulate them on their successes. In other words, in a small startup company, the possibility of getting your good work acknowledged and rewarded is far greater than that in a corporate setup.
5. High job satisfaction
Working in a startup company can give one huge job satisfaction. The employees share the growth and the success of the company with those in the management positions. Usually, the startups are focused on societal or mission-driven issues and providing solutions for them. They are not just selling products for profits alone. The employees of a startup are therefore provided with opportunities to be a part of something special and meaningful, make a positive impact to the lives of their fellow human beings and thereby make this world a better place.
Cons of Joining a Startup Company
1. Heavy workload
While taking up tasks and responsibilities beyond your job description can be very exciting and allows you to expand your skill set and experiences, this also means that you have accepted a heavy workload as well. Short working hours is a fiction in the startup field. Working for 50 hours a week is not unusual. The exhaustive work hours and lack of holidays mean that maintaining an optimal work-life balance is extremely difficult while working for a startup company.
2. Less pay
The startups are usually small-scale commercial ventures that are more mission-driven than large corporate companies whose sole goal is maximizing profit. This means that you get a lower salary than what can be expected from a big corporate company. Some startups prefer to pay their employees in the form of stocks, or a combined package of salary and stocks. Sometimes the cash-flow challenges that a startup face make it difficult to pay the employees on time.
3. Job security
According to one survey, at least 75% of the startups fail within the first year of their inception. Even as more mature and established concerns, they have to fight for survival on a regular basis. The tech startups are more vulnerable in this respect as technological advancements and innovations have the power to throw them out of business. Sometimes they fail due to inexperienced leaders and correct business models. Whatever the reasons may be, it is true that the startup sector offers poor job security compared to the more traditional corporate sector.
4. Little or no work stability
Sharing many roles and responsibilities outside your given job description means that as an employee you are in a constant state of change. The absence of a clear structure fixing roles and tasks can be really frustrating and nerve-racking for an employee. This also affects your ability to become an expert in one particular role which is still highly coveted by the employers in the traditional job market.
5. Inadequate resources
Small capital of the startups means that they don’t have the luxury to furnish the workspace with all cutting-edge gadgets and office equipment. Most of the cash-flows are channeled to fund operational costs, product research, and development, or grow a substantial customer base. You’d have to work with no or a very small support staff and manage with a tight budget.