Job Search

Should You Work at a Startup?


Startups are cooler than ever.

But that doesn’t mean that everyone will be happy working at one. Most startups offer unpredictable hours, and responsibilities that change weekly if not daily. If you prefer routine, you may want to leave startup life to others. Here’s how to know if a startup is for you:

5 things you should consider before working at a startup

Be okay with change – A startup changes and evolves all the time so you need to be prepared to learn new skills on the fly. As the company grows, you’re job function might change as well, so it is best to be open to new challenges and responsibilities.

Know your risk profile – The life of the startup is unpredictable. Ideally it will grow and get acquired, but it also might go out of business in two years. If you decide to work for a startup, think about your own risk profile and whether you would be okay with working there only for a year or less if the company runs into issues. If you’re concerned about risk, join a company whose founder has a track record of successful companies.

Leave the ego at the door – Be aware that a small company does not have the supporting resources of a bigger one. Even the CEO must take out the garbage occasionally. Be prepared to do tasks that might not be in your job description but that just have to get done.

You need to tap into your passion – A startup most often will not pay well and you will be working long hours. You will have to tap into your drive and passion for the work you’re doing or the action of learning new skills in order to propel you forward in your position.

You can create your own job – Working at a small company offers the ability to try out new roles as your interests change over time. The way I carved out a new position for myself was to spend some of my own time to help the company in a specific direction. Within six months I made up a new role in the company for myself.

About the Author

This article was contributed by Maciej Godlewski, the CEO and Founder of Fired Up Digital, a digital marketing firm in New York City. Maciej writes on entrepreneurship and career issues facing the digital workers of tomorrow.