Working For a Startup: The Pros and Cons

What is a startup?

As the name may give away, a startup is a newly established business.

They are typically founded and run by entrepreneurs and characterised by their innovation.

Often bringing a unique product or service to market, many startups are known within their respective industries as “disruptors.”

Startups often begin with a small team of founders and limited resources but aim for rapid growth and scalability.

What are the benefits of working for a startup?

Innovation and growth plans make startup companies incredibly exciting places to work. Some of the benefits of working at a startup include:

  1. The founder/s is typically still the head of the business which means you will get great exposure. You can learn and gain insights from the person/people who had the idea and brought it to life, an advantage that is unimaginable in a global organisation.

  2. It might be a brand new product or service that they’re taking to market which involves a steep learning curve for everyone involved, ideas are shared and you’ll likely be listened to. It’s normally quite difficult to get in front of CEOs/founders regularly until you’re at a certain seniority level however, startups grant you that privilege from day one, giving you a great sense of impact and collaboration.

  3. Startups are typically very sociable businesses with great culture. Employees heavily rely upon one another in those early stages and great friendships can be formed.

  4. There is a huge amount of experience to be gained. There may not necessarily be a person for every role in the business which means everyone has to chip in and innovate – you’ll be challenged and you’ll be expected to know more than one area of the business.

  5. Your work will be easily recognised, probably by the founder/founders themselves meaning you may be able to make jumps in the business faster. You will be able to take on more responsibilities and therefore, more senior positions.

Disadvantages of working for a startup

  1. Uncertainty. At the start of a business, it’s often unclear whether the business will succeed or fail which could leave employees with a level of uncertainty about their job security.

  2. Lack of resources & structure. These can be seen as advantages or disadvantages depending on your personality type. As mentioned earlier, there may not be a role for every person needed in the business which means everyone has to chip in. If this isn’t your forte, you may not enjoy being in the early stages of a startup. A lack of management can also mean there is a lack of structure. Again, if you enjoy the formalities of bigger businesses, a startup may not work for you.

  3. Long work hours. Long hours aren’t mandatory in a startup however, in the early stages of a business people typically work long hours and weekends to implement new ideas. If you’re looking for a 9-5 job you may not flourish in this environment.

Is a startup right for you?

Working at a startup business certainly isn’t for everyone. It has many advantages for those who are hungry to learn and develop their career quickly and get stuck. However, if you want the security and structure of a large corporation, you may not enjoy the fast-paced and ever-changing environment of a rapidly growing startup.

How can help you find the right business for you partners with rapidly growing businesses, many of which are startups. Our clients are innovative and are constantly on the lookout for the right people to help them take their business to the next level. If working for a growing business sounds like something you might be interested in, give us a call on 0113 873 0092 or send your CV to [email protected].