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Jobs in Startups – Worth taking up?

For the last several years the startup machine has been cranking out a wide variety of new ventures. Times are really exciting if you are a tech enthusiast, budding / aspiring entrepreneur or just have a thing for all kinds of upcoming gigs.

If you are a job seeker who feels working for a startup has a certain appeal to it, then this might just be the article for you. Keeping in mind what is good for you might not be the same for others, let us pinpoint some aspects of this type of corporate world that should be considered before taking any concrete decision about jobs in startups.

 Will the startup succeed?

Something that should have the most significant effect in decision making is analysing about the probability of success that might or might not be experienced by your dream startup and eventually, you.

 Is your work defined?

It’s no secret that generally, the definition of work is not rigid in a startup. Whatever department you might be in, chances are that your role shall not be defined clearly. Even if it is, you are expected to work on issues & domains tougher and beyond your expectations. At times, you might feel they are unnecessary as well.

 Do you really learn?

Whether you learn more than what you hoped for or do not learn at all (by working on unnecessary (or should we say, unrelated) stuff, depends on your perception of learning. Sure, a software developer having to work outside his zone would mean solving problems higher than their paygrade. This, in every sense of the word is learning.
But let’s say, a marketing employee, having to deal with product issues might consider this just some additional work without any real learning involved.

 Are you adequately compensated?

Depending on what stage the startup is, you can expect a varied range of starting salary being offered. In many cases, employees are offered equity coupled with less pay. Most people are blind sighted by it and they accept it gleefully. There’s a good chance the startup might fail and this equity won’t matter at all. The wise option is to negotiate towards a higher salary refusing the alternate lucrative options.

 How good is the position offered?

Often, potential employees are given catchy titles to lure them for the job or to retain the old employees. Beware of this and do not fall for it. Understand what role are you being offered. Go about analysing how is it different from your previous profile and whether the post translates to additional responsibility or is just a hoax.

It’s true that joining a startup can be a fun-filled, smart or even a life-changing move. And while not all startups have the ambience (or the budgets) of sexy tech companies, and not all are run by a visionary who will put you on the fast-track to Facebook-like stock options. Many new businesses offer a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of building an organization from the ground up.

But, there’s a flip side to all of this. Jobs in startups also include the same mind-numbing responsibilities that the big companies have. So, if you were expecting to try your hand at specific exciting tasks, you may be severely disappointed.

Also, startups can become shutdowns very quickly. It’s one of the inherent risks in working for one. And while you may assume that, as a member of a small team, you’ll be the first to know about potential landmines, this isn’t always the case.

Having said all of this, it’s still worth a shot. For you never know, with appropriate research and hard work, you can secure an amazing position in a wonderful company.

Startups, with the amount of employment and revenue they generate, have helped the country grow enormously. Here‘s a list of startups by IITians which have helped the country.

We wish you the best of luck in making your decision.

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