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Answered: To join or not join a startup?

The world is brimming with startups today. And it comes across as no surprise when college students as well as experienced professionals aspire to work for one. But the sad truth behind it all is the fact that, working for a startup isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!

If you’re planning a future in the startup industry or planning to make a move, hold on for 5 minutes to understand the advantages as well as the disadvantages of doing so.

Advantages of joining a startup

1. Fun and fast paced culture

A clear cut difference between the corporate offices and startups is the fun environment. The environment makes all work seem like play to keep employees motivated and engaged. With no dress codes, and different team bonding activities happening, the environment is just like that of a college.

2. A greater learning curve

A startup nudges you to dig deeper into your field and learn more. As a matter of fact, they even support the various courses you might to want to take up while working – as long as it benefits the profile you hold. Since you’re made to dabble in everything else as well and not just your own field, the learning curve is much greater than that offered by corporates.

3. More opportunities

Since everyone’s buzzing with energy and are more open to ideas, the number of opportunities that come to you are endless. You could be a writer turned marketer, or a developer turned growth hacker – that’s what the great learning curve makes you!

4. Employee friendly policies

There are no hard and fast rules of reaching the office at a particular time or taking only a certain number of leaves in an year. As long as their work gets done, startups follow extremely employee friendly policies.

5. Very rewarding

If you’re one of the initial employees of a startup, your move can be a life changer! Not only are you offered a competitive package, but you’re also given the choice of investing the company’s stocks. Startups across the world have started to offer generous amounts of equity these days.

While the picture might seem rosy, there are a few disadvantages that come with startups.

Disadvantages of working in a startup

1. High risks of failure

There are about 90% of startups that fail to perform in the market – even though the idea behind them was exceptional. Be it running out of finances, not being able to raise funds, fall-outs between co-founders or simply, a turn in the market scenario – you never know which road the startup might take.

2. Unstructured environment leading to chaos

Startups refer to their unstructured environment as flat hierarchy. Even though the idea behind it is good, it’s more often than not a failure. There is just nothing fixed – job descriptions, roles, who you’re working with or for that matter, who you’re supposed to report to. You’re expected to work in just about every field – whether you like it or not. More often than not, this results in under-performing and mere chaos.

3. Lack of resources

A startup is always running on strict cash flows, irrespective of the funding it has received. This is done to set something aside for grabbing a bigger market share in the future. While they offer competitive packages to get people onboard, they are also the ones to take it all back quickly to recover costs in the coming months.

4. More demanding

Startups are ventures started out by a couple of enthusiasts who wanted to make a name in the industry and address issues that were being ignored so far – they expect the same attitude from all their employees. Long hours, constant pressure to perform, lesser holidays, mostly working Saturdays, etc, you’re expected to just keep performing through and through.

5. No personal space

Since it is a small group of people that you work with, it is hard get some personal time during the workweek – and sometimes, even on weekends because you’re expected to move around with the same group.

All in all, while working for a startup might open many windows for you, it might also challenge you with obstacles at any given point of time. Instead of just making a career choice based on the hype around startups, think about how good or bad the experience is for reaching your own goal.

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