Work for a startup

Kaustov Kashyap
Startups have seen some tumultuous times recently. News of shutdowns, downsizing and financial troubles has worked together in trying to give a negative tone to the word startup itself. However, with the economy looking up and a host of government initiatives taking root, experts believe that the worst is behind and the gilded age of the Indian startups is ready to continue its forward journey.
The tough times may have forced some changes over the past few months, but the truth is that startups continue to draw attention from the millennial workforce. However, it’s not always an easy decision to make. Young graduates often find themselves at a crossroad while making the life-altering decision about picking between an offer from a well-established company and a startup. While a corporation has the capacity to pay more and offer numerous benefits, startups have much more to offer in terms of learning and experience that the corporation cannot match - simply because of the size of the business.
Seasoned professionals and elders maintain that corporate jobs are better. But if you are a millennial and still undecided whether you should take the startup plunge or not, perhaps these few points can help you make that decision.
Challenges at every step
In a startup, every day is a new challenge and everyone has a role to play in dealing with them. Mistakes are not looked down upon and learnings are hidden away in plain sight in every activity. As an individual and as a professional, you get plenty of opportunities to learn and grow every day. You learn to be flexible with many variations of business plans and processes that are almost certainly required in order to find that sweet spot where the startup may find its niche.
Never short on creativity
If you lean towards creativity, have an appetite for innovation and an unequivocal aversion to uniformity, then the startup environment will never disappoint you. It will offer you plenty of opportunity to try out new ideas and experiment without ever judging you. The same is largely impossible in a corporate environment, where hierarchies dominate the workplace and new employees seldom get an opportunity to suggest creative and innovative thoughts.
Lively work environment
Casual office atmosphere, a general absence of hierarchies and sometimes even a lack of a dress code can often be seen in a startup, leaving no room for them to be treated like yet another corporate operation. Such an environment not only acts as a stress-reliever but also provides opportunities for autonomous decision making even for the newest employees. You get to see the impact of your work in real time that can be an added point in your job satisfaction score. Moreover, an absence of bureaucratic approach and office politics leaves more room for innovation and allows employees to give their absolute best to the job every single day.
Lean, ambitious and inclusive
Startups rely on lean teams. Everyone is involved in almost everything in the workplace. Within this highly collaborative environment, it becomes easier for new employees to learn new things from colleagues and witness their contribution at work in real time. Within a large organization, such collaboration often requires elaborate planning and execution of engagement activities that often fail to produce real results for the teams that come so very naturally to a startup.
Working for a startup demands a lot of actual hard work with long hours, late nights and even weekends. While you get a lot of freedom and autonomy, you must always remember that this freedom is not your privilege rather a responsibility that you’ve been entrusted with. Sure, there’s a certain allure of the laid back atmosphere with Ping-Pong tables and no dress codes but there’s an element of creating something new that hasn’t been created, doing something that hasn’t been tried, and taking a risk that everyone’s been afraid of.
But when you work with entrepreneurs, you learn more than you bargained for. You learn how to solve problems, how to manage resources, and most of all how to manage yourself. This learning is bound to contribute to your professional as well as personal growth in more ways than one. So, if you think you have what it takes to perhaps take the plunge and startup your own venture one day, then you should get going and work for a startup at least once in your career.