Why should you work at a startup? It's certainly not for everyone, but here are my reasons why.
So last month, I was thrilled to see my Apprentice bestie, Ningku! We, along with Sam from the show, were also very kindly invited by the good people at Wells Fargo to conduct a panel discussion with their management leadership trainees and graduates. It was an absolute blast getting to discuss interesting issues faced by all in the workplace and with careers.
One interesting question we got was why, after the Apprentice, all 3 of us left our jobs to join startups. And it's also a question I get asked a lot. Why choose a new company that's trying to find its feet over an established name with multiple offices and a good corporate structure? Here are some simple reasons why:
1) Change Is Constant: I enjoy change and new challenges, and in a startup environment that is a daily occurrence! From tweeting updates, to writing a video script, to reviewing contracts, to bug-testing the app on multiple phones... every single day at work is different, so make sure you're comfortable with moving parts. That's one of my favourite parts!
2) You Matter: You're never going to be a cog in a giant machine. Startups are all about being lean and mean, so it's a good bet you'll remember everyone's names by day 1, 2 maximum. The great part about this is that you get to see the difference which you make, and that brings lots of satisfaction knowing that you can see the fruits of your own labour. Taking responsibility for tasks is really key here.
3) Things Move Fast: don't expect a monthlong orientation, followed by HR processes, and a few team talks along the way. You're right into the thick of things and that's how it's always going to be. Agility is another hallmark of startups, and being flexible and adaptable as individuals will ensure your team and your organisation is correspondingly so. Technology doesn't wait for anyone, so be prepared to dodge bullets and live in sprint cycles.
These are just 3 simple things that characterise the startup experience...but One thing's for sure: it's not for the faint of heart. There's no hiding behind a big desk, a mountain of work, a complicated corporate structure, or bloated teams. You are you, and your work will face scrutiny. I think the 3 of us certainly agreed during the panel that startups are exciting, and that we're each enjoying the variety of experience that we get. I hope this gives you a bit more insight into startups!