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What Should You Consider Before Working at a Startup?

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Consider These Before Working for a Startup

Working for a startup is always exciting. Startups mark the beginning of something that has the potential to evolve to something great or turn out to be unsuccessful. Nonetheless, the experience you will gain when working at a startup is a lesson for life. Startups can have both negatives and positives. With a good business plan to guide the business and set particular goals, responsibilities and deadlines, the company is most likely set to thrive.

Even so, there are some factors you should consider before applying for a job at a startup:


Startup companies are literally beginning. That means there will be a lot of changes along the way. You have to be able to adapt to any changes within the company and use it to your advantage. Change is a good thing; it molds the personality of the company. Also, there is no particular number of changes that will happen or a number of changes that marks the end of them. The company will be in a transition state for a long time, until it reaches specific milestones that allow it to abandon the name ‘startup’.


Startups don’t always offer generous salaries or benefits, and your salary may need adjustments from time to time. That means that you will take a small cut in your salary in order to hire more people for the company. Also, if the startup turns out to be successful you might receive a bonus on your salary for your hard work. The main benefit of working for a startup is experience. Most startups don’t survive, but the amount of time you spend on an ever-changing environment is worth your time and effort.

See Also: How to Use Growth KPIs to Expand Your Startup


The first thing you should expect the first time you work for a startup is long hours. You are valuable to the company and that is a fact. That includes you putting in long hours to reach the breakthroughs you are looking for. Accept the fact that you have to show your skills at your job and cultivate relationships with your co-workers, since you will be spending a lot of time together anyway. Furthermore, you need to set your own expectations for every aspect of the startup.

Do you believe in it? Do you think if will transform into a great company? Establish your own expectations for your working future.

Research (product/service success potential)

If you are considering working for a startup, you might wanna look into the products or services they provide beforehand. For example, if the company is offering something that already exists and is offered by numerous companies already, it won’t be a great idea to hop on. However, if the company offers something unique or something you believe in, then it’s a sign that you will fit right in.


During your interview for a startup, it is acceptable to ask about funding. If the company doesn’t at least have funding to keep them alive for a year, then you shouldn’t put the effort in the first place. Great startups have multiple investors who write them a first check, but even greater startups have investors that are willing to spend a lot of checks to ensure that the company will live to succeed.

Experienced Individuals

Startups usually begin with a few determined individuals ready to make their dream come true. They look for investors and then look for smart and motivated people who will share their dream and work towards the same goals. Additionally, when the company advances even further, it is common to hire some professionals to help the company reach even greater heights. When these experts start working together with you and telling you what to do, you might feel a bit uncomfortable because you have been working there from the beginning.

However, even though you might feel threatened, you need to remember that they are not there to take your job. These experts exist to be your mentors. In bigger companies, they are completely inaccessible but at a startup you will be able to interact with them on a daily basis. Use that to your advantage.

See Also: How to Smoothly Transition from Startup to Scaleup

Wrap up

With startups, the idea is that the sky is the limit. You hold your own destiny. Go into the experience wanting to be a businessperson, wanting to help build a business, then you can go anywhere after this job. Even with all these things considered, remember that nothing can guarantee a startup’s success.

Startups can and will fail, but like any failure in life, there are lessons to learn and people who will make the journey special.

Remember this final advice: Even if your company fails, this can be the actual springboard for its future success. The process alone will give you a more diversified experience and help you make new contacts in the industry and VC world, opening up new opportunities in your way.

About the author

Emmanouil M.

My name is Emmanouil Mastorakis and I have a BA in Childhood Studies. The reason behind my choice of study is my personal experiences that drove and inspired me to become a teacher for children with SEN. My dream is to built my own private school and offer a safe environment for children to spend their day in learn while having fun.

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