You may already know that working at a startup is very different from working at an established company. This happens because the environment in these cases is driven by innovation, autonomy, and action. In newly created companies, there is a horizontal hierarchy and job and career plan still being implemented, which may not seem to be a very easy environment to adapt for those who are used to well-defined processes, support, and functions.
To work in this innovative and very different environment, you need to be independent and learn fast. If you think this is not your profile, maybe it’s just a matter of adaptation. Every year, more and more people are leaving their corporate jobs to learn of working at a startup. It’s an amazing way to boost a career, as the environment can help you develop faster.
In a startup people rarely work within the confines of a job description, they are always involved in different facets of the business and actively participate and make constant contributions. At an early stage, time is valuable, and every team member is critical. This means that you will be working on projects that affect users directly, and probably immediately. Working together with various sectors will bring a macro view of a business and maybe you will discover things you never imagined existed within a corporation.
In other words, as you move out of a traditional organization, in a short time you will be doing more activities and achieving a lot more knowledge. In almost every role, you will be releasing features, gaining users, and seeing results. Exciting right?
Startups represent great experiments and every attempt is something new. Always testing hypotheses one after another, the team works inventing, creating, changing, and sometimes without a guide. According to Steve Blank, creator of the Lean Startup movement, to be a startup it needs to work in an environment of extreme uncertainty because it develops something innovative in some way, whether in the product or in the business model.
Given this organizational dynamism, which continues into the later stages, anyone working for a startup needs to be comfortable with large doses of uncertainty and learn to deal with the potential frustration of not working out.
PUSH THE LIMITS
The exercise of actively questioning rather than passively settling is key to a startup’s success. If you want to work for one, you must be the type of person who is always looking to solve a problem, make the solution more efficient, and make it repeatable and scalable.
THINK LIKE AN OWNER
Working at a startup, you are expected to be emotionally involved. The sense of mission and adventure is greater than in a traditional organization, and their efforts are clearly and directly linked to the company’s value and success. You must, therefore, be someone who can care deeply not just about their own work, but about every aspect of your company.
Working in a startup can also be considered an incredible experience for anyone who wants to undertake it due to the level of interaction you will have with all areas of the company and the level of involvement with its growth.
But if that’s not your ultimate goal, it’s worth the investment for the benefits this job will bring you.
What does the startup environment bring you?
The new work dynamics to innovate created the need for new skills. That said, there is great value in working in a high-growth environment that goes beyond adding experience to your resume. For technical talents such as engineers, developers, and product managers, a business startup environment provides the perfect conditions to increase both their technical skills and those important soft skills.
Learn to self-manage
In a startup environment, it is possible for you to take real ownership of your work, your methodology, and ultimately your career goals. This creative freedom is less common in large corporations and is one of the biggest benefits of working in a young company because when you join a larger corporation they will already have specific styles and systems that you need to adopt and follow. This profile should have the ability to self-organize and create processes that make sense to you.
Be part of only one team: the company.
In addition to enjoying a structure that is generally more open than a larger company, a startup team is often closer and more cohesive. Whether it’s the massive amount of time you spend together or a more passionate alignment with the company’s mission, you’ll often find yourself absorbed in a familiar culture or vibe.
You learn beyond your area of expertise
Due to the reduced number of rigid and formal processes in an early-stage company, it is easier to see what each department in the organization does. You learn more from each other and about how the company operates because of this more global view of the business and you get skills outside of your job specifications.
Prepares you to undertake a day
If you have any plans to own or invest in your own business, working at a startup is an important exercise. You can get a bigger picture of the realities of running a company. Including the funding journey, the growth or decline of the team, and the ongoing balance of priorities against resources. In addition, you can create a network of contacts that can offer advice, insights, or even investments.
Some techniques that are advisable for you to know if you want to go down this path:
With growth speed and the lowest possible investment, the marketing area needs to find ways to promote the product or services they sell in an intelligent and economical way. It’s a process of rapid experimentation across the marketing funnel, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.
Still, on the subject of speed, professionals need to have agile management of their daily lives and activities, and these methodologies are an alternative to traditional project management. Scrum is a work methodology that is applied in project management and is the main agile method used today.
Storytelling and Public Speaking
Storytelling is a technique widely used in Marketing and Advertising. It is used to capture the audience’s attention, telling stories in a relevant way and engaging the viewer. Knowing how to tell good stories and speak well in public is a desirable characteristic in a startup environment. It is not enough to innovate, it is necessary to sell your idea very well. Not only for the target audience but mainly for investors who will trust the company with their money.
But is it necessary to master all this? Yes and no. It is desirable to know all this, but if you manage to develop well in just one. You will be able to get ahead of the others.
How to get a better idea about startup culture?
Still not sure if it’s an environment you would fit in? So participating in an event like a startup weekend may seem like a good step to start understanding this universe. In one weekend you will be challenged to create a company from scratch and try to develop it as much as possible. You will learn many concepts, put them into practice and meet many people who already work or have worked in startups to exchange ideas. There are events like this that are themed, such as travel. Just for women and focused on sustainability. Many startups can start in programs like this.
Working in a startup is undoubtedly a challenge, whether you are used to working in a traditional company or not. Each startup is unique and involves complex challenges and multidisciplinary teams. Its speed challenges us to learn more and want faster and faster results. Being part of a community helps you to think differently. Having a broader view of a business and growing considerably in your career is fascinating.