A few things to consider before joining a Start-up

A few things to consider before joining a Start-up

Posted by Vivek Nama on December 26th 2016

Start-ups may not be the initial choice of a workplace for anyone who wants to make it big in the corporate ladder and of course the fainthearted! And even if you do the reaction would be that either he couldn’t get a job anywhere or there is a significant amount of financial security behind the reason to take such a risk.

But there are a few entrepreneurial and leadership advantages when you get to work in a Start-up and that would depend on the workplace and the work culture, of the start-up or the people who founded the company and their experience. But if you actually choose to work in one you should consider these pointers before taking the plunge.

1. Find out who the Founders are

Simple , before you join a Start-up, you should definitely try to find out about the founders. Who are they? Where do they come from? What’s their background and what have they achieved? Their expertise and experience.

Don’t judge the founders on their past failures. At the same time, if they were successful before, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be successful again. But what matters is how the founders handle the situation when things go crazy.

2. How is the dough/money coming?

So where does the money come from to run the business? Is the Start-up bootstrapped and highly profitable (very rare)? Or are they venture-backed and have millions in their bank account, which only happens later and of course you need your salary on time too!

Either way, you should try to find out whether the company has what it takes to survive the next 6-12 months, because if they don’t and you have even the slightest doubt, you need to start asking for assurances.

3. What Stage Is The Start-up In?

What stage is the Start-up you’re considering to join presently at? Joining an early-stage venture that’s not received traction for their product and don’t have seed funding is a gamble. Unless you’re 100% convinced of the idea and the founders, your risk will get multiplied with doubt. Things don’t get any better after that.

On the other hand, if the Start-up has gained initial traction, with the product showing promise and customers receiving it very well, it might be a great time to jump in. Chances are, the company is trying to secure funding. If you get in before that happens, you might pick up some equity or attractive ESOPs.

4. What Is The Work Culture Of The Start-up?

The culture of a Start-up defines it. There may be times when the company’s future is in doubt, but the company’s culture is what’s going to keep everyone’s mood afloat and probably contribute towards saving the company. It’s one thing for a Start-up to have an amazing culture. But you also got to keep in mind that not everyone is cut out for the open culture that you find in most Start-up offices.

The lack of solid hierarchy structures bothers many people. You might not know it now, but it might become a constant needle on your back once you actually start working in the Start-up and realize that you aren’t a fit for its culture.

5. What Is Your Role In The Start-up?

If you’re considering joining a Start-up, probably giving up a corporate job or something else, then you need to know what your role will be in the Start-up. Will you be a regular 9 to 5 employee who comes, does his job, and leaves? Or is your role going to be pivotal to the success of the company, or one of its products, or something similar?

But when you know your exact role and its impact on the future of the company, you will be motivated to work harder. Trust me on that.

6. A Mentor In The Start-up

If you’re joining a Start-up right out of college, chances are you know nothing about the job you’ve been hired to do. This is why it is crucial that you find a mentor in the Startup.

Which is why it is important for you to consider whether the founder or your boss is someone experienced who is going to guide you? Will he give you that initial nudge in the right direction before you start taking matters into your own hand? Or are you going to be thrown into chaos and confusion at your workplace?

7. Are You Flexible To Work Multiple Roles?

If you think you’re only going to be doing the role you were hired for in a Start-up, especially an early stage one, then boy are you in for a ride. Hired for a sales role? Don’t be surprised if you have to lend a hand with marketing, or maybe business development, or maybe even updating the company’s social media pages once in a while.

8. Are You Comfortable With Unpredictable Working Hours?

On some days, you’ll enter office post-lunch and leave after the evening snack. On other days, it would be a 9 to 9 grilling session, with work carrying over for the weekend.

There are good days, and then there are bad. You’ll be bored out of your mind, and you’ll also have way too much on your plate with too little time to complete everything.

9. Are You Sold On The Idea Of The Start-up?

Another point that far too many people ignore while considering Start-up jobs is the idea of that Start-up. Don’t get sold on ESOPs or a high salary too quickly. It is important for one to believe in the idea that the Start-up is based on.

Doing a quick research on the history of the idea will tell you about who have tried and who have failed. You’ll learn whether the idea has already been refined by Start-ups in other parts of the world, or if the idea is so fresh that it is yet to be refined into its final form.

10. Why Do You Want To Join A Start-up?

The last point is also the most important one in this list. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself the ‘WHY’ question while considering joining a Start-up.

Why do you want to join a Start-up? The answer can be – “Well, they are paying more than the corporate job.” It can also be “I love working in a high-intensity environment with lots of motivated people in the room attacking a problem day-and-night trying to solve it.”Source: http://blog.jobspire.net/


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