How I perceived a start-up was very different when I had just graduated from college. I painted pictures of open-spaces with young people chilling about on bean bags. You could work when you felt like. You aren’t bound by strict rules. Obviously, there would be rules, but they would be relaxed, very relaxed. Those people who didn’t want to be bound by strict regulations and not be micromanaged, the misfits of the corporate world would find themselves a haven at a start-up. From where I come, you get to work at a start-up if your grades aren’t the best and hence making you ineligible to apply for large companies.
Having graduated as an Electronics Engineer, employment opportunities are endless one would assume. But did I see myself an Electronics Engineer is something that I asked myself while introspecting. I didn’t quite enjoy the process of becoming an Engineer. When a start-up came knocking I didn’t hesitate to make that decision of signing up with them.
I work at the start-up capital of India, soon, catching up with the rest of the world. I’ve been at a start-up for almost two years now, and quite frankly, the learning has been immense. Now, it would be illogical to draw a comparison of how it would be to work at corporate vs a start-up as I haven’t ventured into a corporate yet. However, that won’t stop me from making that comparison. Having spoken to umpteen number of individuals from my circle who are employed at corporate has helped me understand the differences.
Below are some lessons my workplace taught me:
1. Set up your business
Start-ups are all about the entrepreneurial spirit. I haven’t started my business yet but working at a start-up has instilled in me the confidence and the know-how of setting up my own business. This is priceless knowledge you cannot fathom at a corporate. You are but a small fish in a large ocean.
2. Upskill 10x
The room for learning and bettering yourself is unmatched at a start-up. You grow ó the company grows. It’s a win-win for both. Whereas a large corporate cannot afford to help their 1000+ employees to better themselves. One simple reason why it's counterintuitive, skilling many people poses one major risk to the company, the employees have better skills than when they started out hence all the more reason for them to look at opportunities elsewhere.
3. Money is not the name of the game, experience is
Start-ups pay less compared to a corporate, hands down, no denying that. There are exceptions, but generally speaking, no, they pay less. What start-ups lack in the capital department it very-well makes it up with experience. Invaluable experience, that is if you have the drive, desire and willingness to learn, grow and upgrade yourself.
4. Diverse portfolio
I work in a marketing agency and I’ve worked in so many domains I have lost count. Pharma, Software, Healthcare, Electronics, Sports, Politics, Consulting, Design, Finance are just the domains off the top of my head. The kind of work we do in my agency might remain the same but the kind of knowledge you gather from working with various clients from ranging domains helps me stay on top of my game. My resume looks good, thanks start-up.
5. Monday is just another day
Work stressing you out so much that you long for weekends? Not me. If you long for weekends you have already lost. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong in waiting for weekends to chill with your buds, but, if you dread Mondays and hate it, what are you even doing?