Pros and Cons of Working in a Startup

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12 September 2016

In today’s world of new technologies and ways of working, the criteria for the ”perfect job” has changed. We want more from a potential employer, a home office option, team-building events, good company culture and others. While many companies have already adopted the new ways of working, the ones ahead of everyone are definitely startups. We hear and read the word ”startup” every day on the news, in online magazines, on social media, etc. And there are a lot of definitions that suggest what a startup actually is.

Let’s agree that a startup is a company which can result in both massive success or a major fail. Startup members are all motivated to achieve exceptional growth and are excited to make an immediate impact on the targeted market. All this sounds great, but while working in a startup one could face some challenges as well. To make it more clear, we created a list of Pros and Cons which will help you understand what working in a startup means in reality and whether it would be the right place for you to work at.

1.Flexible working hours

Enhancv Pros and Cons of Working in a Startup

Pros: 

+ Avoiding the traffic rush hour. Most of the companies have set working hours (9-5) which means the early morning traffic when everyone rushes to be at work on time is a nightmare.** Therefore, if you are able to come to work later, you avoid the stress and arrive in a much better mood.

+ The ability to make other important activities before work. You need to pop in a bank, see a doctor or a dentist, drive your mom to the center, you name it. If you work in a startup where working hours are flexible, you will always have the freedom to do these things whenever you decide. This enables you to manage your work-life balance in the most effective way.

+ Schedule your work in quiet times or different places. Often you have an important due date or you just need some quiet time to focus on the project properly. In a startup, you can schedule your working time and place. You are able to come to the office early in the morning or stay in till later evening when it’s the least likely for others to be there. Or if you feel distracted, choose other places to work from. Home, your favorite cafeteria or even the beach!

Cons:

– Trust and fairness. It can be challenging to keep track of everyone’s working hours or the effectiveness of their performance. If you can’t monitor that, such situations could tear the trust between team members.

2. The office space

Enhancv Pros and Cons of Working in a Startup

Pros:

+ Interaction. Startups usually work in shared spaces which allow networking with other people from other businesses who can encourage the flow of creative ideas. Most startups tend to work closely together, build their community and share ideas and ways of improvements with each other.

+ Closeness. To work in a smaller office space stimulates more conversations. This leads to getting to know the real person in each one of your co-workers. And that leads to deeper friendships. There is nothing better than working with friends, people who understand and support you.

Cons:

– Lack of concentration. As much as it could be positive that there is always someone around, it could also be a negative. Small space office could create tension between team members and also decrease their productivity.

3. Smaller team

Enhancv Pros and Cons of Working in a Startup

Pros:

+ Communication. In a smaller team, it is easier to interact with one another and it also allows each team member to get to the right person and get answers they need much faster. Also, team meetings tend to be shorter because there is a smaller number of team members who need to report/discuss the issue. Like that everyone has more time to focus on their own tasks. Furthermore, it is easier to keep everyone up to date with changes, decisions, and due dates.

+ Focus. Smaller groups of people tend to focus more on the tasks they are given and put more effort into their assignments. They realize that their output depends on their efforts and it allows them to take ownership to the results. It is also easier for the founders to focus on each person individually and provide help where needed.

+ Motivation. Startups usually consist of people who come from different backgrounds, however, share the same goal and usually are passionate about similar things. They strive for knowledge and have a lot of will to make the company successful. This kind of people create an environment which drives the team forward.

+ Decision making. In a startup, when any changes are about to be made, you will always be able to share your opinion and contribute to decision making. Like that the startup team members feel like they are a valued part of the company and it increases their morale and motivation.

+ Organizing events together. If the team is smaller, it is much easier to organize different activities together and ensure a 100% attendance. It could sound like a cliche, but a startup follows the rule – ‘’Work hard, play hard’’!

Cons:

– The amount of work. Workload many times outweighs the number of people in a team and there are times when everyone is too busy to help others with their tasks and problems. Employees could get confused, tired and overwhelmed.

4. Self-development

Enhancv Pros and Cons of Working in a Startup

Pros:

+ Productivity. In a startup, it is a must to self-teach yourself on many topics. A lot of times there are situations when one person wears many hats and needs to do something they’ve never done before. Getting out of a comfort zone is a part of everyday life in startups.

+ Embracing mistakes. Everyone in a startup ends up making a mistake at some point. It is exactly because they do things they only read about and never tried doing in real life. One mistake can affect the business hugely, but it can also provide an invaluable lesson which contributes to the future development of the whole company.

+ Meeting new, inspiring people.In a process of looking for potential investors, you are very likely to find your mentors. Startup founders are usually individuals with less experience but with amazing ideas. Their support comes from much more experienced people. They teach them a lot, provide them with valuable advice and link them to other influencers.

Cons:

– Lack of enthusiasm. It could be very challenging for people who are not self-driven and need someone to motivate them to give their best at all times. Being a part of a startup means overlooking fear of failure, believing in your abilities and stimulating your pro-activity. If you don’t possess these qualities, a startup is probably not the right workplace for you.

– Overtimes. Because one has to do several jobs at the same time, there is a high chance that your working hours are going to double up at some point.

5. The money

Enhancv Pros and Cons of Working in a Startup

Pros:

+ Experience.Startups usually allow you to really focus on developing your talents or help you improve in areas where your weaknesses lay. Except for money, you get paid in experience. And let’s be honest, there is no value you can put on that!

+ Shares. Also, a great thing about startups is that all workers are able to own shares of the company. So when it will become a success, except for a salary higher than many in large organizations, you also own a chunk of the business!

Cons:

– The salary. At the beginning, you might not get paid as much as you would in a large company. Every startup invests most of the money into new opportunities and products and investing in people is not always the priority. So, you need to be ready to work hard and prepare for situations when you might not get the money you deserve immediately due to a ‘’bad month’’.

– Investors search. In a startup, unless you have a lot of your own capital, you have to look for potential investors and persuade them that your idea is worth investing their money into. This very long and difficult process requires a lot of patience, time & effort.

Many big companies, including Apple and Google, started literally in a garage. Their founders transformed a simple idea into a hugely successful business. And therefore we think it is worth considering to start your career in a startup, which could have the same future. This list should give you a general idea of what it means to work in one and if you decide to give it a go, don’t give up when the first trouble arrives. Accept the challenges that are ahead of you and do your best.

Network, learn, focus. Believe in the potential of the company you are working for.

What other Pros & Cons do you think we’ve missed?

PS: Don’t forget to tag your startup! ?

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