Does innovation and variety inspire you? Are you the type of person who thrives around driven, intelligent, creative, passionate people? Then a job at a startup just might be in your future. Be warned though. If you’re going to help build a business from the ground up, you’ll most likely be part of the team building the foundation. In other words, be prepared to get your hands dirty.
It’s not likely that you’ll be hired on as ‘Engineer #1’ and walk out of the office after your first day with a forklift injury, but when you sign on with a startup, be ready to tackle the ”other duties as assigned” part of the job. New companies, especially those with little to no capital, don’t have the means to hire multiple people right out of the gate. So, they rely on the sparse work group they can bring on board to come to work with their A-game every day. As the sayings go, you will have to wear many hats and become a jack-of-all-trades, but the tradeoff can be immeasurable.
Advantages of Working at a Startup
The diversity of tasks required of you as a startup employee will have you configuring cubicles one minute and drafting venture round strategies the next. But, that’s one of the big draws of a startup – to grow as an employee far beyond what you could at a big company. Getting paid to learn and buildup your resume is a dream job. There are, of course, a few more benefits to working at a startup.
Aside from the wealth of experience you’ll gain by working at a startup, there’s also the huge draw of a potentially life changing financial payoff. If the company you work for becomes successful or is purchased by a larger company, as a new employee who received stock as part of his hiring package (right?), you could potentially become a multi-millionaire. Think about it. Wherever you live, whether it’s Rochester, Reno, or Raleigh, SSD terms and SSI benefits are hurdles that you’ll never have to struggle with. In other words, you’ll be financial secure for the rest of your life.
Additionally, you will be working with true innovators, you will be recognized for your successes, you’ll be given much more responsibility, the atmosphere in which you work will be dynamic, and you’ll never get bored because there’s something new every day. Of course, to every yin there is a yang, so there are a few disadvantages to working for a startup, too.
Disadvantages to Working for a Startup
Some of the disadvantages of working for a startup mirror the advantages and some reflect just the opposite. For example, as a startup employee, you may have big dreams of striking it rich, and you may do just that. However, startups generally don’t have much funding up front, so you will be required to work harder than you ever have for what’s probably one of the smallest pay checks you’ll ever earn.
Something that can be considered both an advantage and a disadvantage of working for a startup is the fact that you’ll be doing so many different jobs. The negative side of the advantage is that you won’t be able to pick and choose the ‘extra’ assignments. Being hired as ‘Engineer #1’ doesn’t mean you won’t be expected to do some hard labor. Setting up cubicles is one thing, but cleaning the bathroom, moving furniture, and unloading boxes? You can count on it.
At a startup, it seems like no task is off limits. Just know that going in, know your physical limitations, and be vocal about them. If you are physically incapable of performing a task, speak up. Otherwise, you just may end up having that conversation about Raleigh SSD terms, after all.
Working for a startup has both short term and long-term pros and cons. You’ll likely have to accept low pay with the hope of a long-term gold mine headed your way. You’ll have to work harder than you ever have before (performing tasks you’d rather not be doing), but you’ll leave the job with a killer resume. However it turns out, it’s bound to be one crazy ride.