Hello, Reader! I assume that your interest in this article indicates your interest in working with a start-up. Or perhaps, you already have an interview lined up with one. In any case, I congratulate you for your consideration! You are one of the few people who would rather choose a career of adventure and learning over that of safety, bureaucracy and standardization. That said, I would also tell you that working with a start-up is not a bed of roses. But you will definitely learn things, during your stint with a start-up, which you won’t pick up while working for a large corporation.
According to me, these are the reasons why working with a start-up is indeed a great learning experience:
1) You work WITH a start-up: The emphasis lies on why ‘With’ and not ‘For’. As an employee of a start-up, you will be directly responsible for its overall success. Your actions will determine the course the start-up follows and thus gives you great power and responsibility for its future.
2) Big Fish in a Small Pond: Your presence has an emphasis in a start-up. Your thoughts and ideas matter and are heard directly by the management. These are also implemented if found to be relevant and mutually beneficial. Each employee has a feeling of importance and uniqueness.
3) Freedom to Experiment: A start-up does not have a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as they are still in the learning stage. An employee has the freedom to experiment and add value to processes/communication lines and even company culture. However, this depends upon the ‘level of risk’ a particular process or system can be subjected to. Critical clients, systems or processes are usually kept ‘risk-free’.
4) Cross Functional Training: Most start-ups want their employees to have diverse functionality. They prefer to build employees who are ‘Master of One Trade and Jack of some’. This enables you to learn a wide variety of functions and gain mastery in one which fits your aptitude.
5) Increases your Flexibility: Once you enter a start-up, it is a must to consider the product/service/company as your own baby. Start-Ups have different needs than that of a full-fledged organisation and in some cases you must be flexible to meet the various needs in a start-up environment.
As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time working for large corporations as well as start-ups, I would definitely recommend any corporate greenhorn to experience the start-up culture.
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