Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.
We are living in the world of startups. In countries like India, people are starting companies at a pretty good pace and there are opportunities out there to be among those who will improve the economy for good. I personally think it’s a great time to look at startup opportunities. But, it’s important to walk in with your eyes open. This is particularly true if you have never worked for a startup before as you might struggle a lot understanding the concept.
Making the decision to join a startup isn’t always easy. The ever-evolving, exciting, fast and young blood of a company to work. Sounds exciting, right? Note that, It’s regularly repeated that 90 percent of startups fail, which forces the question: Am I prepared to take the risk? After all, when you accept a startup job offer, you’re making a bet on a company that might not be around in three or six years.
In most of my experience working with startups, I’ve been key player in the founding team. During the stint, I got the privilege to be on the hiring/recruiting side of the equation. I am astonished how often people fail to ask the really important questions before joining a startup. They get a lot of the basics (compensation, benefits, roles, requirements, responsibilities, etc.) right — but often fail to hit some of the important topics that are peculiar to that startups.
I agree, there are many opportunities in a startup environment compared to a long-established company, like wearing many hats, endless possibilities for growth and learning. You get the chance to be on the ground floor of something new and see your contribution has an immediate and lasting impact on the business. Much more is what makes working at a startup attractive. Although it might sound exciting, working in startups can be challenging and might not always be the best fit for you.
Before joining a startup as a new employee, you should have a clear understanding of the role, the company’s culture, and the company’s prospects. You don’t want to jump into a financially troubled startup or into a problematic work environment.
Well, before you jump right into one, we prepared some questions for you to ask. Although startup jobs may be exciting, they may not be the ones you’re actually looking for. That’s why I have gathered few very important questions to ask before joining a startup.
- Is the Startup Right Fit for Me?
- How Will the Startup Contribute to Your Personal Growth?
- Who Are the Founders and Do I Believe in Their Vision?
- Will the founders get along when the going gets tough?
- What’s the history of the idea and what problem are they trying to solve?
- What are the founders looking to get from their startup?
- Is The Company Market-Ready With Its Offering?
- Where Is the Industry Headed?
- What Are Their Core Values and Are These Values Reflected In The Company’s Policies?
- What Is the Current Runway, and What Are Your Future Funding Plans?
- What Is the Current Team Structure where you will be deployed?
- What Are the High-Level Team Structures? How Do Teams Collaborate?
- What Is the Company’s Exit Strategy?
- What Are Their Plans and Achievement Schedule for the Future?
- How Long Is the Average Employment Rate?
- Is the Attrition rate high . If So, Why?
- How Communication Takes Place In The Hierarchy?
- How Is the Reward System? What Do They Consider as Success?
- What’s my Job Role & Responsibilities ?
- What Does Success Look Like in This Role and How Will I Be Measured?
- What Are The Available Growth Opportunities?
- Will I Be Learning Something New?
- What’s the Scope Of Salary For This Position?
- Do team members have structured 1-on-1s?
- How the perform reviews happen ?
- Can I use my experience & expertise in the position offered?
- Does The Company Promotes ‘Work From Anywhere’?
- If I cannot fit in Startup culture, what’s next?
There will be times when you won’t be able to ask all the questions you have in mind, to the interviewer or the recruiter. In such cases, it is a good practice to connect with existing employees and clear your doubts before committing anything to the company.
There won’t be one right answer to several of these questions; each person has their own list of non-negotiables. Maybe you’re willing to take a pay cut to work alongside seasoned founders, or perhaps you won’t take the job without the promise of equity. Either approach is fine, you will need to determine your walk-away point; what’s the bare minimum you’ll accept?
Ultimately, the questions you truly need to repeat are: Do I care about the mission? Do I believe in the product, service, or founders? If those answers are “yes,” you might be closer to a decision than you think.
I hope this article was informative, Feel free to share you thoughts and experience, would love to hear them.
References: Harvard Business School, Startups of London & AngelList Blog
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