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Tuesday
Mar202012

Can You Work in a Startup Environment?

With the tech market growing, tech start-ups are popping up all over major markets. And this creates hard decisions for many job seekers: to work in a larger, time-proven company or take a risk on a start-up. Why would someone take this sort of risk? Well, for one thing, the majority of candidates who accept jobs from start-ups have already shown enthusiasm for the start-up environment. It’s an environment that might include longer hours, smaller teams, and the risk of poor organization. Not to mention funding issues, if we are talking early-stage companies. But with great risk comes the chance of great reward. So the candidate is in more of a tricky scenario. When interviewing with hiring managers, they are being cyphered down one at a time to find the right environmental fit; can you go out for a beer after work with your CTO?

Now, this is not the case all of the time. Many younger companies focus their search primarily on strong technical abilities with a lesser emphasis on personality fit. In tech markets like that of New York City, where nearly 75% of hiring occurs in younger, less proven start-up companies, there is a greater chance that the interviewing process will focus on environmental and personality fit.

Let's take a look at some of the positives and negatives in the old start-up market. You'd like working in a start-up if:

  • Team morale on a creative and technical standpoint ranks high on your priority list.
  • You don't want to do the majority of your work alone and if having colleagues take notice in your development and outcome is something you don't mind.
  • Being part of the creative process; a chance for your voice to be heard,

You would probably hate a start-up if:

  • You are coming out of a career in a large corporate or finance environment… and enjoyed it.
  • The paycheck is the most important part of work for you and the creative side of development is a backstory.
  • Being in a younger environment is not the ideal setting for you; the top level of management with these companies could range anywhere from 25-40... not exact numbers but there is a risk of having a younger boss.
  • In a strong marketplace for jobs in the technical scene, the line is becoming thinner between the two types of candidates out there: start-up and corporate. There are solid reasons to be on either side of the fence, but personality seems to be a higher factor for start-ups. Bottom line, if you’re personality fits with more of a risk-taking development and business model perspective, a start-up could be a great way to further your career.

You need to decide for yourself, or talk to someone on the hiring side of things about your expectations. Quite frankly, there are too many jobs opportunities out there for you to spend time going on countless interviews. If you are honest with what you truly want, it should only take about 10 well-thought-out interviews before you are offered a position that you really, truly want. Imagine this marketplace as the blackjack table; you need to strengthen your odds to the best of your capabilities. It's not always best to take that next hit.

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Reader Comments (3)

Like you mentioned there is great risk and great reward in working for a startup. Regardless of what happens, you ultimately get great experience from working in a startup and dealing with the unique demands of the growing company.

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Thorn

You don't want to do the majority of your work alone and if having colleagues take notice in your development

You want me to love working away most of my life? Are you insane? What the hell do you see me as?

May 17 | Unregistered Commenterfuck NO

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