Working for a startup can involve a lot of risk, that’s no secret. One in two startups fail in the first four years. In fact, there are startup funerals happening way too often these days. But that doesn’t mean taking a job with a startup — even one that ultimately fails — won’t allow you to gain valuable experience and skills to add to your resume. So what exactly are the pros and cons of taking a job with a startup?
Startup companies are undoubtedly filled with go-getters and people who are willing to go the extra mile or have dinner at their desk while working away on a project. Since teams are small, people generally have to wear a number of different hats. Funds are often low when a company is building their client base so they need to get everything out of their employees that they can. This is beneficial for the employer, however employees may be overburdened.
The drawbacks of working in any startup are generally related to short term risks, and sometimes long-term risks. The pay generally isn’t good early on, benefits are limited until there are more employees and the work-life balance can be tenuous. No proper workstations, no proper tech support and tedious workloads. You will be asked to change strategies a number of times, meaning a changing work flow as well.
The first thing most people mention when you bring up startup culture is the work-life balance. Or in some cases, the lack of work-life balance. Startups are filled with people who are passionate about seeing a product or service comes to life, and that usually entails long or odd hours.
But a lot can be learned at startups, and some people even thrive in the sink-or-swim mentality often present in new companies. Since there is a lot at stake riding on a startup’s success, emotions can run high and workloads can be significant. However, that high stress atmosphere can spawn great creativity, innovation and reward if the same is utilized properly.
A summary of the cons for working for a startup:
- Lack of Structure
- Low compensation
- No regular pay
- Additional responsibilities
- No guarantee for the job
- Strained social life
But there are also pros for working for a startup company. If you’re looking for personal growth, the upside is that startups are a dynamic, fast evolving environment which values initiative. It is great for figuring out what you’re best at and excelling in it. If you want to grow professionally, this is the place for you. The lack of structure at startups lends itself to more than just your typical 9 to 5 working day. You may find that the lines of workweek and weekend begin to blur, as you while away the time hoping that your efforts will produce success.
As Chase Hattie, CEO of QuickShouts says, “Those who work in startups are some of the most talented people in their respective fields, and they’re there because they want to build something of value. It’s not just a job for those who work at startups; it’s a mission. There are a million other things that these people could do that offer better security and remuneration — but they choose to take a risk to do something they believe in. It’s incredibly inspiring.”