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How to make a smooth transition from a corporate job to a startup job

Bhupendra Sharma
19th Dec 2016
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There comes a time when people occupying large cabins in MNCs wish to join startups of their choice and give their career a new direction. They feel bored, disillusioned, and dissatisfied with their corporate jobs and seek fresh challenges that a startup job entails.

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If you find yourself relating to this, here are a few points to help you make a smooth transition from a corporate job to a startup job:

Be clear about your decision

The worst thing you can do at this point is deciding to switch your career without giving it a serious thought. While it's okay to switch jobs, moving from a corporate environment to a startup without a solid reason is unwise. So, be clear in your mind about your decision and take a step forward only if you see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Take inputs from someone who has already done it

Since it's your first time and you may be uncertain about the whole transition process, the best way to get over it is by having a discussion with someone who has already done it. By taking inputs from an experienced person, you can know a lot of those things which may be unknown to you at this point.

Embrace the fear

Fear of losing the comfort of your corporate job may give you a hard time during the transition period. In order to get rid of it, picture the worst case scenario that could happen if your startup job doesn't work out according to your expectations. Prepare yourself for any unexpected result and then proceed further. Remember, you either succeed or learn something new; there is no place for a third scenario.

Have faith in your employer's ultimate vision

While the vision and mission statement of your multinational company may sound too long to remember, the situation is poles apart at a startup. Most things at startups are not as perfect as a large corporate. However, the one thing that drives everyone at a startup is a common goal. Have faith in your startup's vision and give your 100 percent towards achieving that one common goal.

Be ready to learn (and unlearn)

Your duties in a corporate job might be crystal-clear and well-defined, but startups are different. There's nothing like a clearly defined job at a startup. Your tasks are determined based on what is more important and needs to be done on a priority basis. One day you may be asked to work as a content editor, while on the next, you may be called upon to take care of social media promotion. That's how you grow in a startup culture!

So, be ready to learn new things and unlearn your past habits.

Don't expect to work in a cubical

There's no such thing as a cubical in a startup. From co-founders to a newly hired intern, everyone shares the same floor. So lower your expectations and be prepared to share the same floor with everyone else. Also, there are no set working hours in many startups. While you get the freedom to work from home on many occasions, if the need arises, you may have to stay back until late night and finish a project before leaving. It's all about work and how fast can you finish it.

In the end, both corporate and startup work cultures have their own pros and cons. You can't call one better than another. Everything narrows down to individual perspective. So, be clear about what you want – a well-defined job or exciting new challenges every day – and then decide accordingly.

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