Career /Five things to know about working in a start up
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Five things to know about working in a start up

Working at a startup can seem like a pretty thrilling career move – getting to make your mark and help build something from the ground up, working on something that you’re truly passionate about, having opportunities to grow and move up quickly and working in a non-traditional and casual workplace all sound pretty great.

If you have only ever worked at very established companies where there are processes and systems in place and you’re looking to work at a startup, you may be in for a bit of a shock. As we mentioned, the experience is very different from most workplaces, but can be incredibly rewarding. Here’s what you should know before applying – and we should know, we’re still a startup!


You need to be okay working through chaos

Systems and processes? They’re not necessary when it’s just the startup founder, two other people and you. Has the founder just changed the strategy for the third time in response to client feedback? Time to get on board and align your work with the new strategy. Project plans, team structures – nothing’s safe from change when you’re in a startup!

Sounds chaotic, right? You need to be comfortable with change and be adaptable and flexible to show that you can go with the flow to get the job done.


You’ll wear a few hats

So you’re an engineer, but perhaps you also double as the person everyone goes to for IT problems. Maybe you’re a marketer, but you’re also the sustainability officer. Or you manage payroll. Or you help interview new hires.

There’s no need to hire someone full time, or even part time, to do these roles in a startup but they still need to get done. So with limited resources, everyone needs to pitch in and share the workload so the business can be successful and stay afloat. You never know, you could learn a new skill that’ll help you in your next role – or make you want to change careers!



You’ll be trusted and given agency to get stuff done

Along the same lines as the lack of processes, you probably won’t need to get your work reviewed and checked by five different people across three different departments. They hired you to get stuff done and they’ll expect exactly that to happen (once you’re off your training wheels, of course). Just being able to go ahead and do the work with little oversight is definitely a strange feeling in the beginning, but once you get used to it, it’s ultimately very freeing and empowering.


There is hustle involved

If you’re joining a startup in the very early days, you’re going to have to hustle a bit. If you’re all about that 9-5, “I don’t work overtime, I leave my work at work/my computer” life, then this stage of a startup business is probably not for you. To keep a business going in the beginning, you are going to need to put in the extra hours, go above and beyond for clients and be constantly thinking of new ways to innovate, grow, hustle and survive.



The culture is generally on point

Startups value creative thinking and problem solving, open and honest communication and fostering an inclusive environment to make sure everyone has their say. Sounds like a pretty dreamy way for a workplace to operate, right?

Add this to all of those other perks that also help build culture as they make people feel respected and valued as an employee. Some organisations might give employees a day off a month or a break over Christmas where they don’t need to use their annual leave. Maybe there’s regular social catch ups on a Friday afternoon, an office Mario Kart competition or free coffee. Whatever they decide to include, startups tend to do workplace culture well.


If you’re sold and working at a startup is your next career move, get in touch today to speak to us about opportunities today at