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What I Learnt From Working In A Start Up?

I had planned my whole life for a corporate job at the bank, and I never once thought about joining a start-up. Little did I know, within one and a half years of graduating, I would be working in one! When people hear about start-ups, people often believe in stereotypes where there are long working hours with no work-life balance, people drinking coffee all day every day, and operating a three-person job. Well – this is not entirely true! There is so much more in start-ups than what was portrayed in sitcoms and rom coms. While you are kissing goodbye to your friends and family before joining a start-up, hear me out: Here are the top 5 things I learned working in a start-up

1. Wearing different hats at different times

With only about ten people sitting around the company table and 101 things that need to be done, there will never be a sense of ‘That is not my job’. My job title was warped and adjusted to accommodate the skills needed at that time. In 4 months, despite being originally on the Social Media Team, I am also getting myself involved in working on a top-line User Interface (UI) audit, managing web projects, client servicing, business development, and being a part-time hiring manager/ admin! Even though it is uncomfortable to wear different hats that do not quite fit right (which eventually does), the outcome of getting my hands dirty to conquer various challenges is satisfying.

2. Every little success adds

‘You will never know what will happen next.’ ‘It is so uncomfortable to work in a start-up!’ Yes – I’ve heard it all. Working in a start-up can be very uncomfortable – but hey, it is not a bad thing at all! Even though you never know what could happen next and constantly feel uneasy about what will happen next, it is inspiring to watch a company grow from nothing to something (hopefully)! Each milestone (big or small) you achieve means something, and it is a small celebration for you and the company. You are constantly expecting the unexpected – but the uncertainty of exploring something that no one has is exhilarating!

3. Constantly growing and learning together

Things can indeed be messy: sometimes, you are unsure whom you are supposed to reach out to and what you are supposed to do next because we are all working on something that is yet to be explored. But one thing for sure is that – you and your team are on the same boat and that you are constantly learning and growing from one another. The journey won’t be clear sailing, but it can be rewarding and teach you a lot about yourself and your people. You have to be adaptable to all kinds of personalities and different situations, but you get to learn and develop more character and perspective at the end of the day.

4. You can be the culture ‘setter’

There are only a few structures set in place for start-up companies, and rules are made to be broken. As start-ups are new and the processes need to be defined and continuously improved, I often get frustrated as I like structure and things being done a certain way. Hear me out: this means that you can be the person that decides and helps shape the company culture. From company brand guidelines to brand mission or vision – everything is up for discussion!

5. You work long hours, but the experiences are amaaaaazing!

With limited supply of resources and budget, I always find myself looking for alternative solutions to get my work done. Not only that – at a small start-up, everything you do will be noticed and recognized. Seeing your work directly impacts the business can be hugely satisfying! I understand that working in a start-up is not all unicorns and rainbows. However, if you are someone like me who likes to think on your feet constantly and loves to overcome new challenges, I think you could excel in a start-up environment! Join our team today and discuss with us more on how it is like working in a start-up: https://www.unravel.com.my/career/

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