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What are the Benefits of Working at a Startup?

What are the Benefits of Working at a Startup?

When you think of working in a startup, do you think of a fast-paced environment with long-term instability and long hours? That could be true, but it’s important to not overlook the benefits of working at a startup. Don’t rule out working at a startup without considering these benefits:

1. Work that matters.

Working in a corporate office, especially in the beginning stages of your career, means you’ll probably be stuck doing some type of job that doesn’t really make an impact on the company’s mission or bottom line. Not with a startup. Each startup employee is crucial to the success of the company, so the work you do will matter.

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In corporate offices, sometimes your work can go unnoticed because you’re just one worker in a sea of others, but not at a startup, which can be both a positive and negative aspect of startup life. Have a big win? Everyone in the office will know. Miss a client deadline? Yep, everyone in the office will know. If you’re into recognition and having a job where you can immediately see the impact on the company, consider working at a startup.

2. Wear many hats.

It’s no surprise that the budget for new hires at startups is small. Although this means you may not be paid as much money as you would working in a corporate office, it also means you’ll get invaluable experience. As a startup employee, you’ll be asked to take on many different tasks and roles outside of your job description. Although this could mean extra stress and long hours, it also means you’re adding skills to enhance your resume in the long-term.

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Because the nature of startups is to evolve and change quickly as the business grows, do a great job when you start with the company, and you’ll probably see your role evolve into a promotion before you know it.

3. Experience the startup culture.

If you’d rather be wearing blue jeans than khakis or dress pants, a startup could have the perfect culture for you. The startup atmosphere is typically much more laid back than corporate offices in terms of dress code, employee hierarchy and employee rules.

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Because startup teams are much smaller in size than corporate offices, expect to work within a close-knit group of people who quickly become more like family than co-workers. Have a problem you would like resolved? At a corporate office, you may have had to go to your boss, who would go to his boss, and so on, in order to get an answer or decision. At a startup, open communication and exchanging ideas and problems is the norm, so you can skip these pointless steps of going through the middleman.

4. Learn how to be an entrepreneur.

Do you hope to start your own company someday? Working at a startup could be just the experience you need to get you one step closer to your goal. Because startup employees work so closely together, you’ll be able to watch to learn how decisions are made at the top, client relationships are grown, and day-to-day business matters are handled. Not only that, but the drive and energy you’ll feel everyday in the office will become infectious, and give you the extra push you need to step out on your own.

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5. Networking.

At corporate offices, the business is usually established with a reliable customer base and presence in the community. This is definitely not so with a startup. Startup employees will be a part of the growing phase of the business, and will be expected to branch out and meet new clients and contacts on behalf of the business.

What does this mean for you? You will be helping the company grow, while also adding to your network of contacts in the industry. Is your startup attempting to launch a new product in the marketplace? You may be tasked with meeting potential distributors which would be a great add to your contacts for the future.

What do you think about working at a startup company? How does it compare to the corporate world? Tell us in the comments below!

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Joel Goldstein

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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