Applying to a startup? Consider this first
Startups can be thriving and exciting environments, but they are not for everyone. Here are a few things to consider before applying for a position within a startup.
1. Often, your role is not defined.
If you are someone who thrives when you have well-defined and strict guidelines, a startup environment might not be for you. Often you will be required to wear many hats, even if you have little to no experience in a specific role.
If you love experimenting, continuously learning about new areas and sectors, you will thrive here. It means Googling how to do specific tasks and learning by doing. However, it can also mean you will not get the commission right at the first instance. Given the scrappy environment, often certain aspects of the company can feel unpolished.
2. Done is better than perfect.
Startups are not the place for perfectionists. There is no time to make things perfect, you will have to get things done at incredible speeds, and perfection is not an option.
3. Own your work.
If you take pride in the work you make and are ready to face praise and criticism for it, and are prepared to defend it and the choices you made, then startup environments are for you.
As startups often have fewer employees than corporate environments, you will be directly responsible for your output. There are far fewer senior professionals to which ‘hide’ behind, and it will often be obvious and direct who worked on which aspect of a task.
4. No task is below you.
At times, you will be asked to do things that are beneath you, and they have to be done, regardless of the formal role you cover. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you are overqualified for the job.
This can happen even in established institutions. For example, Patrick Jephson, Private Secretary to Princess Diana, has been photographed carrying out one of her dresses on one occasion.
While this task wasn’t within his mansions, it needed to be done there and then.
5. Proactivity is within your DNA.
Startups can be hectic environments at times, and you may not receive precise directions on what you should do or how you should do it. These are times when you are required to shine. It would be best if you took on the initiative to get a task or job started, even when no one told you to do it or how. It would be best to ease processes and not get stuck because no one told you what to do next.
6. You are comfortable being uncomfortable.
An environment with few guidelines and often hybrid or liquid roles can be uncomfortable at times; if you are comfortable being uncomfortable, it might be the work environment for you.