Reasons to join a start-up companyChen Wan Lim
It’s been a trend these past few years in Malaysia for fresh graduates to join start-up companies upon graduation rather than joining time-tested multinational companies. It could be the thrill of venturing into the unknown or the chance to work with peers of the same age, but joining a start-up indeed has its pros and cons. For one, start-up companies often do not have a structured progression and that everyone is expected to know a bit of everything. These are some reasons why start-ups still have their appeal with graduates these days:
You’re thrown into the deep end of the pool
Although you have just been hired to be the backend system programmer of a two month old start-up, you will be expected to know how to do some marketing, sales, finance and possibly even some HR. Start-ups often operate on a very lean budget trying to stretch every dollar it receives from the investors. Hence, every employee is expected to contribute much more than they are being paid. On the upside, you will find that you’re forced to be very good at what you do from the very beginning without receiving structured guidance and support from the people around you. Also, you will have the chance to try many other different things which are out of your core expertise.
The only constant is change
Joining a start-up can never be dull or boring as you will be challenged every day. You will need to learn, relearn and unlearn different skill sets daily. Unlike established companies, start-ups usually do not have a standard operating procedure in doing things. Therefore, employees are forced to adapt to the ever-changing working environment and forced to innovate their products and the way things are done.
You can make immediate and visible impact
Start-ups are typically set up to solve everyday problems. For example, ride sharing apps were started to circumvent the monopoly of taxi drivers in an area and group sharing coupon apps were started to gather a few interested users to negotiate for larger discounts. Joining a start-up will allow you to see immediate impact, immediate results and immediate customer feedback. Everything happens quickly and changes happen often.
Start-ups are usually small outfits where one person probably holds the responsibility of five other people. As such, successes are quickly identified and recognised but so are failures. You will feel that your ideas are taken seriously and there are no worries of being underappreciated. In addition, high achievers are often noticed very easily and given larger responsibilities with larger titles.
Studies have shown that only about 20% of start-ups actually succeed past its first year of establishment. Although joining a start-up could mean lower initial pay and forgone opportunity for career advancements, but joining start-ups could have big upsides. Initial employees are sometimes given stock options which could be worth a lot of money when the company goes for its initial public offering on the stock market.