Working for a startup can be a great way to advance your career. You will be working on a new and exciting product or service, you will have the opportunity to grow with the company, and you may be able to earn equity in the organization in addition to a paycheck.
What is a startup?
A startup is a relatively new company founded by one or more entrepreneurs. A startup company aims to provide a one-of-a-kind service or product to the market while also solving a specific consumer problem.
Startups are typically low-budget operations or operations with a limited amount of funding. As a result, initial funding is frequently provided by the founders or their families and friends. Once the startup has gained traction, funding is frequently provided by investors and lenders.
Adapt to change plus uncertainty- Startup jobs usually have diverse work environments, more chances to contribute and gain new experience, greater access to senior management, and even the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something higher.
Inevitably, there are disadvantages to startup careers, such as less flexibility, more stressful work, coping with mercurial founders, and the possibility that your seemingly successful startup will fail with little warning.
Working for a startup could also be the ideal match if you appreciate the excitement, the opportunity to step up and be a core member of the team, and the opportunity to make something positively exciting happen.
What Employers Are Looking For
When you start working for a startup, you would be required to perform to the best of your ability from day one. Companies like to recruit candidates who are highly inspired and have the urge to learn on their terms.
Because a startup lacks the processes that a large company has, you must be self-motivated. There may not be a human resources manager to onboard you, nor will a manager inform you precisely what to do.
When it comes to working for a startup, there are advantages and disadvantages. A specific type of person is required to be hired and thrive in a startup environment.
The following are some of the critical competencies that most startups seek:
- Quick Learner
- Excellent Communicator
Perks of Working for a Startup
Working for a startup has several advantages, particularly for new to the professional world, such as recent graduates or young professionals. Working at a startup can provide several advantages, including:
More learning opportunities-
If you can overlook the risks and grow with the company, you will be able to reap significant rewards for your time, energy, and effort.
Many startups will give their employees far more authority than more giant corporations. This is since startups frequently cannot afford to hire multiple employees, each with a department’s different responsibility.
A startup environment also allows you to stretch yourself and put yourself forward for projects outside of your comfort zone and pay grades.
Venture capital investments
In their early stages, venture-capital-funded startups have already demonstrated enough promise to attract investors willing to pour money into the business in exchange for an equity stake.
While these startups are risky in their own right, your chances are better. Venture funding implies high expectations from experts outside the organization, letting you know you’re not the only one taking a risk. Besides, venture funding increases the likelihood that the company will have enough funds to grow over time.
A unique experience
Working for a startup can be very different from working for any other type of company. As a result, employees frequently get to enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience that is not available elsewhere. Whether your startup succeeds or fails, you’ll have more opportunities than a corporate job with a more standard job description.
While each startup is unique, some general startup perks include relaxed dress codes, great coworkers, more frequent recognition for your efforts, a genuine sense of accomplishment when goals are accomplished, and the absolute certainty that your contribution matters.
The drawbacks of working for a startup
While there are numerous advantages to working for a startup, there are also some drawbacks to consider before deciding if this is the right career path for you. Work for a startup may have the following disadvantages:
As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only half of all startups with employees survive the first five years of operation. Tech startups are especially vulnerable to this, as technological advancements and new and improved innovations have the potential to put them out of business.
As a result of these factors, working at a startup does not always guarantee job stability or security.
Low Starting Salary
Many startups are unable to compensate their employees fairly until the company experiences significant growth and revenue growth. As a result, working for a startup is often less lucrative than working for a giant corporation.
Professional development resources are often limited in new startups and may not become available until the startup is more established and generates a significant revenue amount.
Where to Look for Startup Jobs?
Use Job Sites-
While networking is essential, it is also prudent to regularly visit startup job boards. This will assist you in getting a sense of the market and alerting you to specific opportunities. Consider the following websites when conducting a startup job search:
- Start-Up Hire — Search through thousands of startup job openings in cities across the United States.
- Venture Loop — Narrow your search to companies backed by venture capital.
- Co-Founders Lab– is a site where potential entrepreneurs were looking for co-founders.
- Angel List– AngelList is the best place to find startup jobs. With a single application, you can apply to over 74,000 jobs. You’ll also be able to see each employer’s salary and equity information.
- Join-Startups — take a look at this constantly updated list of jobs at venture-backed startups.
- Job Fair for Startups — attend a job fair for startups in your area.
Build Your Network-
When it comes to securing a job with a startup, networking is the single most valuable tool you have at your disposal. Most cities have active startup communities and regular events that make it simple to get involved.
Networking allows you to meet the right people and learn about positions before they are even made public. This reduces the pool of competitors and allows you to profit by being in the right place at the right time.
Although, not everyone has an extensive network of venture capitalists and startup founders on their contact list. This means you’ll have to put in some effort and step outside of your comfort zone if you want to broaden your network and connect with people who can provide job leads and advice.
Learning more about businesses that operate out of your local co-working spaces can help you identify startups in your area. Attend as many technology conferences and events as you can fit in. You can meet with prospective employers in a group or one-on-one setting to learn about opportunities.
Attend as many as you can, and keep in mind that a startup job fair may differ from a traditional career fair in format.
Use the social media platforms
Look for LinkedIn groups in your area that are related to startups. Participate in the groups and the discussions that are taking place in these groups. Contact your current LinkedIn contacts to see if they can make introductions to startup friends.
Join Twitter and start following people who are involved in your city’s startup scene. Learn about the startups, talk to the founders, and get to know them. Many influential founders and venture capitalists are active on Twitter, where they share helpful advice and insights.
Check out the company
Some companies are better to work for than others, so spend time researching startup workplace environment reviews. In some cases, even new businesses have Glassdoor reviews. Do your homework and look up the founders to see what other startups they’ve worked on in the past and if there are any reports on what it’s like to work for them. This can give you a good idea of what you can expect if you apply for a job with them.
Prepare for an Interview
The hiring process may be less formal than if you were interviewing with a traditional corporate employer. Prepare for a last-minute phone interview, video call, or informal meeting. Startup interview attire is typically less formal than a formal job interview, but you should still appear polished and professional.
As with any job interview, take the time to follow up with a thank-you note or email.
When making a decision, consider all of the factors that will make this the next best step in your career, keeping in mind that your tenure at a tech company does not have to be indefinite. Even if this is one of the startups that fail in the long run, you will have the opportunity to broaden your skillset, build your resume, and gain valuable professional experience in the technology industry.