Joining a startup is often a difficult decision to make. Many worry what would happen to their career if the company closes down. Would they be able to get another job or will they carry the blame of closing down the company. Most of these worries are ill founded. A person’s value in the job market depends on his skills and not on the revenue of the company he worked for. Even if the person had caused some damage to the company he can present it as a positive lesson he learned (how to crack interviews is a different topic altogether, and we will carry it in another post).
To take a closer look at startups our chief correspondent interviewed a person who has worked in a startup for 1 year. We refer to him as ‘Sanjay’, which is not his real name.
Q. Hi Sanjay, How has your 1 year long journey in startup been?
A. It was quite adventurous and I learned many things in this one year, which otherwise would have taken a much longer time.
Q. Why did you join a startup?
A. I wanted to take bigger responsibilities, which my old company was not giving; I knew a startup would give me greater challenges, responsibilities. I wanted to learn more about technology as well as how companies start. I knew startup provides faster growth opportunities as work is more and people are less, you become a crucial resource for your company after few months.
Q. How many people were there in your company?
A. We were a team of 10 people.
Q. What are the major challenges you faced?
A. The biggest challenge was to be flexible. Work could stretch up to long hours; some times it could be very demanding. In a startup your output is clearly visible, whereas in big company the responsibility is shared among the group and individual performance may get lost in that. The Startup I joined gave me work from day one; there was no question of bench period like what happens in bigger firms.
Q. What are the advantages of working in a startup?
A. There are many advantages, like you get more exposure; you can see the whole process how everything is working, you can get access to each and every level work, I for example could see the basic design document of the product I was working on.
Q. How is the work life balance in a startup and how are the facilities.
A. It depends on the team, and time management varies from individual to individual. We were short on facilities and as a team we used to discuss what other facilities we could have. There were situations where you have to double up as a hardware engineer if some problem shoots up in your computer.
Q. Did you ever feel you had to sacrifice your health because of long office timings? Or that the brand you were working on is not well known.
A. If I was working for a bigger company but not happy with the work or salary, I wouldn’t been happy. Working in a startup makes me happy, because of the personal responsibilities I can take. One has to be confident as roles are not clearly defined and only those who can take risk should join a startup.
As far as brand image is concerned if you talk to guys from top colleges like IITs they would be happy working in a startup.
Q. Any other risks which are there when joining a startup.
A. In a startup you wont have million dollar projects, it may be a small project, accordingly exposure may not be that wide. There are no fixed departments like HR; you don’t have a chance to talk to many people, it is a kind of closed environment. Therefore its wise to make a good choice before joining a startup.
Suggested Link for reading:
Ashish Kumar, founder of Tekriti Software, New Delhi writes about Start Up


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