Working in a start-up: the pros and cons

We can find a million stories over the internet of people explaining why they left big companies to go work at a startup. But why are people moving to these little structures? Tired of your regular 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job? The few start-ups that have been successful worldwide are Microsoft, YouTube, Apple, and Google. But who are they? What do they bring to their employees as well as to the current economy? If you plan to work in a start-up, here are some points that may motivate you to start, although there are some disadvantages.

*Article initially published on Medium.com 22/08/2019

But first of all …

What is a start-up?

A start-up is a young, innovative company that is developing rapidly and requires a significant investment to finance its rapid growth.

The history of startups

There is a tendency to think that the concept of a “start-up” appeared in the ’90s because of the craze created around them. Well no! Did you know that the first start-ups came into existence around the 1920s? The first startups are the Silicon Valley companies, like, for example, IBM.

How to start a start-up?

Everyone has an idea for a startup, but the impressive part is getting it off the ground. Luckily, there are a few critical elements that will help you succeed in the startup world no matter which industry you plan to disrupt.

Take a look at the infographic below on which steps you should follow to create your future golden business.

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” –Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and CEO, Apple

The good sides of working in a start-up

When you hear the word “start-up”, you think directly of a young, dynamic team. Indeed, this new concept of the world of work tends to attract junior employees since it’s a freer environment than large groups. It’s immediately more pleasant to work in a team where there is a good atmosphere, where you feel a real team cohesion.

A start-up also rhymes with creativity. It’s the ideal place to create and exchange ideas. You will never be reprimanded for sharing your ideas, quite the contrary!

The advantages of working in a start-up:

  • More resume bullets than you ever thought possible: you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll make huge contributions to the business. In other words, you’re going to work and achieve more than you ever have before. (And working more, but that’s another story.)
  • A stimulating environment: startups know how to pull off a favourable work environment. Creativity and innovation grow the business, so a nice workspace is crucial.
  • A highly dynamic environment: you must always be looking for a new challenge. Constant improvement is key in a start-up. Startups need to grow fast. If they can’t keep up in the fast lane, they’ll crash out. Employees have to deliver results.
  • Employees work without supervision: you makesmart decisions and take responsibility for the consequences. The chance to steer progress motivates to perform well.
  • Work outside your job description: often you work outside your zone. Loads of opportunities for learning and growth. There’s not a middle-management so you’ll help with everything. You have to carry out multiple missions.
  • The perks: flexible working hours, working from home, casual atmosphere, employee discounts and free food and drinks

Some disadvantages

Working for a startup isn’t a synonym for free drinks and free lunches, and in many cases, it’s harder work with less pay, but in the end, it can pay off handsomely. There may indeed be some negative aspects to start-ups. Here’s a summary of the disadvantages of working in a start-up:

  • The salary you receive: the long hours and huge workloads don’t necessarily mean a huge payout, either. Thus, the salary may be less attractive than in a large group.
  • Uncertain success: if the company goes bankrupt, there is a high chance of losing your job with it.
  • Heavy workload: don’t expect short days with only 4 working hours. Startups are filled with people who are passionate about seeing a product or service come to life, and that usually entails long or odd hours. Employees work around the clock to achieve objectives, so stress and burnouts are possible.
  • What social life?: employees work under extreme pressure to avoid losses, so don’t count on having much of a social life. The work-life balance is tough. Startup employees end up working beyond the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. office hours and sometimes even on weekends. Working overtime is not always paid.
  • Lack of leadership: the founders started the business with a brilliant idea and they secured enough seed money to start a venture. But that doesn’t make them experiences leaders. A lack of mentorship can affect the motivation of the employees.

Benefits to the economy

The benefits of a start-up don’t only concern employees, but the economy also benefits. First of all, they increase the country’s innovation. New concepts and applications appear and disappear in a snap of a finger! We, therefore, feel the freedom to create what we want and to innovate constantly.
On the highly competitive labour market, start-ups provide an important opportunity for young graduates. They also provide cultural and financial support to local economies.

In brief…

Certainly, there are some disadvantages to take into account if you want to work within a structure such as a start-up, but it is nothing compared to the working environment that the universe of the start-up offers to an employee!

You should evaluate what you want out of a company and how you see your future. Every startup is different, but the common themes tend to be special hours, small teams, ranging benefits, and a group of passionate individuals with one objective: create a successful company.

“Building a company and building skills for your career may take longer than we think.”

Questions?

We hope we succeed in giving you more insights on this subject. If you have any questions feel free to reach our Shippr team at “hello@shippr.be”. You can also connect with the team on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn!

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