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3 Things to Know About Working for a Startup

3 Things to Know About Working for a StartupIf you are considering working for a startup company, there are several things that you should know beforehand.  I have worked for a startup in the past and must say that it was one of the best experiences I have had, while also being the most challenging.

There are 3 key things that I can share with you, based on my experience, when it comes to working at a startup.

1. Excitement

In a startup company, you will find an excitement and enthusiasm that you don’t typically find in larger, more established corporations.  This is simply because a startup is something new and fresh.  It is a dream that the owner is turning into a reality and the employees are all working together as a team in order to make it happen.

When building something from scratch, you must have this excitement and passion that you will discover in most startups.  If you are tired of the structured and staunch corporate environment, you may want to consider the fresh beginnings of a startup.

2. Ability to Express Ideas

When working for a startup, you will quickly notice that it is welcome and even encouraged that employees express their ideas and solutions.  I worked for a startup company for over 6 years and for the majority of my time there, employees were encouraged to use our brains in order to think things through and come up with solutions.  There were many times when we were faced with urgent matters that required quick decisions and action, but the owner was on a plane or in a meeting.  In those instances, he was relying on us to assess and make the right decisions.

We were given printouts to hang in our cubicles, reminding ourselves to ask the following questions when faced with a decision:

Is it right for the company?

Is it right for the customer?

If we could answer yes to both of these questions then we had the green light to move forward.

3. Dedication

While working for a startup can be a lot of fun, it also requires a lot of dedication and longer hours than many other companies.  Startup companies do not have the big wallets that larger corporations have.  This means that cost is always carefully watched at startups.  In the initial stages, most startups are operating very lean, with fewer employees and fewer tools or technology.  This means that employees of a startup must be willing to go the extra mile and work longer hours at times.

While working for a startup, there were many times that I worked well into the evenings and weekends in order to complete large projects.  Was I excited to work the longer hours?  Not really, but I knew that the reward of seeing something grow and become successful would be worth it.  Being a part of a small company and contributing to it’s growth is extremely rewarding.  That is really what working at a startup is all about.

Have you worked for a startup before?  If so, please share your tips and experiences below.

Image: Wavebreak Media Ltd/

Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.

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