Working in the stuffy hierarchical corporate world, filled with cubicles as far as the eye can see and office politics that make your head spin, always lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. Perhaps it’s the terrifying thought of finding myself in a Groundhog Day situation -- life remaining static and constant, stuck on replay until the end of time. Repeatedly driving in rush hour day after day to the same boring desk job, stuck in an uncomfortable suit for 10 hours, answering aggravating emails, and taking only and exactly 30 minutes to eat my lunch, go to the washroom and have an actual face-to-face conversation with my colleagues. To me, the corporate life is missing unique personalities, captivating conversations, and exciting adventures. This, among many other things, is what makes the idea of the #StartupLife so damn appealing! A startup office environment is energetic, passionate and always exciting! It’s a place that fosters creativity and promotes out of the box ideas. Who wouldn’t want to be working somewhere that makes work days feel more like a never-ending brainstorm session than a real job?
Believe it or not, but the startup life is actually as much fun as it’s portrayed in the movies -- sure, there may not always be nap pods or bowling lanes in the office, but each space is still designed with complete uniqueness and originality. Stability can be overrated -- even without these perks, everyday people quit their jobs for a promising opportunity at a startup. In search of adventure, people take a leap of faith and risk their steady careers for a chance at starting fresh; coming up with a brand new idea, building it from the ground up and making something out of nothing. The fact is, the #StartupLife is hyped up for a reason -- it truly is an exceptional work environment, unlike any other. With easygoing personalities, creative minds, and brilliant leaders, you could learn more in one year at a startup company than you might take away from a decade at a corporate job.
Working at a startup -- worth it?
- ROVER. At a startup, you will most probably begin as a “rover”. Seeing as the team is small, you will have to wear many hats and help out wherever an extra hand is needed. Truthfully, this is the best part of it all -- you are handed all of this responsibility and are literally at the center of learning a multitude of new strategies, softwares, and skills. Working at a startup company gives you the chance to learn various different domains and disciplines, all while applying it to real life situations.
- OPPORTUNITIES. The more you work, the more you learn, and the more people you meet. All of this leads to more opportunities for a future career. By starting from the bottom, you are awarded the chance to meet dozens of potential clients and/or investors. Networking possibilities are endless, and each one of these connections will help point you in the right direction. Business cards will fill your wallet, LinkedIn connections will multiply and pretty soon you’ll find yourself connected to some pretty impressive people in the industry!
- ATMOSPHERE. You will undoubtedly enter a fun environment when you work at a startup company. Between the cappuccino machines, the white boards and the office hangouts, you won’t ever want to leave. On top of all that, you can expect flexible hours. While you will have to endure an “always working” type of mindset, startup personnel generally offer flexible hours and aren’t too strict with sick days, given that you can presumably do some work from home (sometimes even from the comfort of your own bed).
- CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP. As mentioned, 9-5 isn’t generally the way startups work. Being on standby 24/7 is somewhat of a requirement, but you won’t even mind it! When you work at a startup, you truly begin to love what you do, which diminishes the frustration when your boss asks you to do something on a Sunday afternoon or 11:45 on a Tuesday night. Rather, you hope for the moment he shoots you a quick email, feeling needed and surely indispensable.
- YOU MATTER. Without the entire team apart of conversations and on board for decisions, verdicts cannot be reached. Everyone’s opinions truly matter. Whether you are simply a customer service representative or an administrative assistant, the co-founders will likely want to consider your point of view before making any rash decisions.
Possibly the most interesting part and growth aspect of a startup is the constant brainstorming sessions. Working as a team, you sit around and bounce creative ideas off of each other. With everyone challenging one another, forcing brilliance and originality to emanate, people reach their “eureka moments” frequently. The dialogue helps to finally understand and solve a recurring issue that the company may be facing, a resolution that wouldn't have been found had you been falling asleep at your cubicle, lacking all human contact. These types of inclusive activities truly benefit the team as a whole, ensuring progress is made both creatively and socially.
While there is a large focus on blending different personalities within the office, of course, it’s not all fun and games. A huge part of a startup company is building awareness and driving sales. Through campaigns, ads, trade shows, and media tours, a startup company takes all the possible routes to get the word out there that there’s a new kid in town, with a unique and exciting twist on an old idea. The pressure is always on and the stakes are high, since without financial backing, strong sales and an effective go-to-market strategy, the company will ultimately crumble. People that work at startups are fueled by this sort of pressure. The intensity and risk levels make them work harder, push further and think bigger! It’s a total team effort where all hands are needed on deck, all the time. The hard work always pays off -- you’ll never feel underappreciated, and your contribution will never go unnoticed.
The many hats of a startup employee
My position at Revols is much more than the Marketing Coordinator. From customer service to recruitment, I wear several hats, and couldn't be luckier. Having the opportunity to explore various fields within the past couple of months has awarded me with a year’s worth of knowledge, an excessive amount of room for growth and even the ability to speak out and have my ideas and opinions heard. My fellow startup co-workers are approachable, accepting and accommodating. With a welcoming environment like this, who wouldn’t want to work here? Participating in brainstorming sessions and having the ability to help solve problems and make decisions has made me feel like an essential part of the team and in turn, all the more valuable. Revols, and most other startup companies, offers a dynamic setting -- for those postgrad students eager to jump into the workforce and keen on learning, this work ethic is exactly what they need. A daily routine escapes my mind, as I’m constantly thrown into new tasks and objectives. Having my day shift from digital marketing to fulfillment and logistics, I’m always on my feet, busy with work, keeping my day interesting. With the combination of the right people sitting by my side guiding me along the way and the constant influx of exciting new projects and responsibilities, I can genuinely say that startups are the way to go.
Need more convincing? Check out Forbes top 7 reasons for why you should join a startup and learn more about the #StartupLife!