Choosing to work with a startup can be an excellent career move. Startups create the opportunity for incredible career growth as they’re newer and still in the early stages of growing. As a young professional, you’re guaranteed to be surrounded by a collection of driven and intelligent individuals that will help you learn. And, every day is exciting because you’re working to create and sell a new and innovative product or service.
Despite all of the good that comes with joining a startup, you still have to decide if it’s the right career move for you. So, if you’re in the process of job hunting or thinking about changing careers, here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not a startup is the right fit for you.
The interview process is the perfect opportunity to get to know the team and get a preview of how it will feel to work with those people everyday. Rather than sitting back and being interviewed, use this opportunity to ask questions about the company and the people. The fact is, most companies look good on paper and It’s up to you to ask questions to uncover more. Ask questions like: “What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?” “What are the team structures? How do you collaborate? What is the turnover rate and why?
Google is your friend – but you probably already knew that. Learn about the people behind the startup. Check out the company’s LinkedIn, current employees and founders, as well as what they’ve been posting and sharing about.
It’s also important to go beyond the company itself. Try learning about the industry, its growth prospects, and the major problems impacting it now. To truly understand a company and its market place, you’ll have to deep dive on the internet and uncover the driving factors for it and how in demand that company’s products and services are. Ask yourself, “Is this company potentially or certainly in a growing industry?”
From that initial interview, you often get a sense of whether or not this is the place for you. Whether it’s how people communicate with one another, how they interact with their clients, or the amount of effort they put into welcoming new people, you can often get a sense of whether or not it is the place for you. If it’s a place you can see yourself thriving, great. If not, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere. It’s your job and you’ll spend at least 40 hours per week with these people so it’s important you feel good about where you work.
This is a startup and it most certainly comes with its fair share of risks. Are you comfortable with the current runway? Evaluate your finances and figure out whether or not this is the right decision for you. If you’re ready and willing, this is likely the right path for you. When you find a company you’re passionate about, one that gives you the space to grow, and you sincerely believe in the founders, the culture, and what you are accomplishing together, you’ve found your role.
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