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What to Expect When Working at a Startup

Working for a startup company may seem risky as well as promising. You will definitely need to make some adjustments, but you will likely have more freedom to do so. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you accept a job with a business that is just getting launched.

Work Your Way Up

The opportunity of taking a new job at a startup is that you will get in on the ground floor. You will have a chance to work closely with the owner or manager of the business, and this will ensure you receive personal insight and training. Instead of getting lost as you might in a bigger organization, you can learn alongside the relatively small team of staff members who are pulling together for company success. Experiencing birth pangs with the fledgling growth of the enterprise, you will likely share in the excitement and struggles of building a solid business that can go the distance. Your acquired experience along the way could make you a ripe candidate for promotion as the company reaches new benchmarks and continues to expand.

No Bonus

While some startups hand out bonuses, most lack the budget to extend such gratitude to their employees. Don’t be surprised by this fact. With that said, don’t expect a startup to completely snub its staff, as many startups will still find a way to give employees a token of appreciation. Some of the best corporate gifts commonly handed out to workers at smaller firms are turkeys, hams, and other meats frequently feasted on during the holidays. These and similar employee gifts are suitable for situations where a new company is limited in discretionary spending.

Bring Your Own Technology

Many startups ask employees to bring their own devices to work, rather than provide computers and phones for staff. This is done to save money, the amount of which can be significant when avoiding having to purchase several thousand dollars worth of equipment. However, this can be a challenge for those who are currently without a laptop to bring to work, or who aren’t crazy about using their smartphone for the company. Either way, just be prepared for the possibility of working for a BYOD/BYOT startup.

Be Adaptable

New organizations often rely on a few capable people to wear many hats until the company hits its stride, which often takes some time. The owner might want to train you with new skills that will result in a transfer to a higher level of authority. You might be asked to supervise newer employees or provide training of skills in which you excel. At first, you may be expected to work odd hours or longer shifts as you get acquainted with operations and meet various needs that are still unfilled. Learning from the ground up, though, means that you will probably be able to develop leadership skills that can advance you in the organization as well as your career.

Find Your Niche

If you already know more about certain aspects of the business than the owner, you will need to find a way to share that information in non-threatening ways. You don’t want to come across as a know-it-all who is trying to exert more control over the business. You just want to show what you know in a collegial manner for the company’s well-being. You might be able to save the company some money, and the owner, some stress.

Being hired to work at a startup company can be very exciting, and maybe a little scary. The future may seem unpredictable for a company that is just starting out. But using the experience and skills you have already gained and playing a meaningful role within the organization will benefit both you and the company overall.

About the author

Justin Weinger

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