Why startups aren’t as bad as you think?

Saturday June 8, 2013

By ANDREW LAU
andrew.lau@leaderonomics.com

Pro of a startup: you are able to suggest ideas, execute them and provide results - all without the red tape and layers of bureaucracy that accompany big organisations. Pro of a startup: you are able to suggest ideas, execute them and provide results – all without the red tape and layers of bureaucracy that accompany big organisations.

It’s the dream of every young graduate. Work hard through school, get into a reputable university, ace the exams, join a big multinational and life is pretty much set. However what if there is another option which is equally if not more exciting?

Welcome to the world of startups – this is a route less travelled by undergraduates but it is something that should be explored. It is also a little known fact that the best graduates in Silicon Valley in the United States do not join big companies like Google and Facebook. They join startups.

So startups employ the best and brightest minds that the Ivy League universities have to offer. Now why would anyone join a startup instead of a comfortable job in a big organisation?

Bigger Challenges

It’s no surprise that if you are in a multinational, you will most likely be another digit in their huge workforce. Due to the volume of transactions in such a big ecosystem, entry-level work will probably be operational and routine.

Some may find this as a good place to start their careers. Others may choose to join a startup, where the world is totally a different place. The work itself will be diverse, often requiring you to stretch yourself and explore new skillsets that you are not accustomed to.

You will be also given responsibilities over important projects that can determine the future of the company. The learning curve will be fast paced and also painful. Life in startups is often lived out of comfort zones but somehow provides immense satisfaction and fun.

Ownership

One of the best things about startups is their relatively flat reporting structure.

This means that you are able to suggest ideas, execute them and provide results – all without the red tape and layers of bureaucracy that so often accompany big organisations.

You get to own that piece of work from end to end. If the results are great then you know that a big part of this success came through your contribution.

If the results are not that great, you are given the opportunity to quickly rework and redeploy another solution. More importantly, you get the satisfaction of seeing the work that you do impact the lives of your customers and the people around you.

Culture and Relationships

When working in a small setting, colleagues become more than friends, they become family. In a family, everyone encourages and picks each other up when they fall.

Failure is acknowledged as an acceptable part of succeeding. People who fail are not disciplined but instead coached and given opportunities to try again. The support structure itself encourages a workplace that grows leaders.

Politicking is typically non-existent and people are genuine in helping you, as the mantra is often “Let’s succeed together”. All this lends to an organisational culture that is a great place to not only work, but to also see your dreams fulfilled.

Flexibility

While working at a startup often means long working hours, you rarely find anyone complaining.

Due to the nature of startups, it offers flexibilities that big organisations often can’t. In fact, most flexible working policies of big organisations are modeled from startups.

Decentralisation of the workforce is one such model. Work groups can form across diverse geographical locations and technologies such as Skype are used extensively. People meet when they have to and do not need to check-in a physical office.

Working hours are truly flexible and not mere company policies. If you have worked all night, you don’t have to come in the office the next day at 9am. The culture is achievement orientated, where delivering great results is more important than how you go about delivering it.

A Chance to Change the World

Startups have a big appetite for innovation and change. They often start from a sense of dissatisfaction and wanting to beat the status quo. They are dissatisfied with the problems that they see in the world today. They are challenged and motivated into solving these issues. They want to make a change in the society and often go about doing it with speed and unconventional techniques.

It is no wonder then that there are so many venture capital (VC) firm fund startups including foundations from big companies such as Microsoft. These investors know there are problems that cannot be solved by big companies.

As such, joining a startup puts you at the forefront of such change. Your life will be lived with uncertainty but also with excitement for each new day brings a whole new level of learning.

Startups are not for everyone. If you are looking for a stable career with a structured progression, then joining big companies would be the better option. There is also the high chance that a startup may fail but the immense experience you garner will benefit you anyway.

If you want to live life on the edge, then join a startup. Before you shine up your resume and join the first startup that you find, do a bit of research. Not all startups may align to what you believe in and want to achieve in life. In the next article, I’ll talk about how to find the right startup to join.

Source: http://mystarjob.com

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