Associating oneself with an early-stage startup comes with some risks, but if you believe in the founder and have the mentorship of good investors it is definitely a great way to kickstart your career.
One of the major reasons why, especially, millennials today are attracted to new age companies is because of the immense opportunities offered for personal as well as professional growth.
Opting to work with a startup in the initial stages comes with huge responsibility, accountability, freedom, liberties and various other pros and cons. While the environment is ‘cool’, fun and energetic to begin with, it can snowball into a hectic schedule with exhaustive working hours and crushing deadlines. It is a great way to kickstart a career.
Mohit Gulyani, Director, Enterprise Sales, one of the employees of Moglix, a B2B commerce company backed by Rata Tata, got an opportunity to join the startup in its initial days. He believes working for a startup in its initial days doesn’t make you just a functional leader but a business leader in the true sense.
There are various roles that one needs to take up at that stage in a startup, which helps in building the company’s foundation as well as kickstart one’s professional growth.
Leadership skills and decision making
The culture at the startup gave me the opportunity to hone my leadership skills as the environment demands complete ownership from its employees. Mohit had the opportunity to handle a team of more than 70 people, evolving from a managerial to a leadership role. If any of his colleagues walked up to him for a solution to a problem, he knew he had to solve it immediately as the buck stopped at him. A startup truly is a perfect place for a professional who believes more in action than fancy presentations, who believes more in oneself than someone who needs constant hand-holding, and who owns the decision he or she makes.
Getting associated with a company in its initial days helps build a close connection with the company’s mission and vision. Mohit had joined a startup because it had a strong vision and a story that people could really get. With an interesting problem to solve, an early employee has enough opportunities to find solutions to, that too in a completely unstructured environment. This also gives you complete autonomy and flexibility to figure out frugal and innovative ways of making the most of the available opportunities.
Bringing the entrepreneur out
Early employees are not merely associates for the company but growth hackers and innovators. They imbibe the entrepreneurial attitude and are involved with the company’s nitty-gritties as much as the founder. From making sure the office furniture is intact to signing warehouse leases to seller onboarding to getting new customers onboard, everything becomes an important part of your daily hustle at a startup.
As they say, greater benefits come with greater responsibilities; early employees have the responsibility of being the flag bearers of their organisation. They are expected to work tirelessly to ensure that their organisation is beating the regular growth curves and competition which could hit them from any side. They really need to believe in the company’s vision as they are expected to influence their peer groups, industry connects, alma mater etc to help the organisation in whichever way they can.
The diverse responsibilities, appreciation, added value, challenging tasks and long-term association makes it worthwhile to work for a startup. Although, associating oneself with an early-stage startup comes with some risks, but if you believe in the founder and have the mentorship of good investors it is definitely a great way to kickstart your career.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)