We’ll come right out and say it: Not every startup that’s alive and kicking today will remain in business a few years from now. Much like Darwinian evolution, there’s a certain level of risk factor associated with the startup scene worldwide that makes sure only the deserving and those that can adapt can survive and prosper in the long run. And that, perhaps, is the biggest cause of worry for many job seekers as they contemplate over working at a startup.
On the flip side, rewards are potentially endless if you play your cards well. Just think about Google, Uber, Facebook, Airbnb, or any large enterprise bearing an undeniable impact in all our lives today. All of them started small — in most cases, from a small office with just a few employees. However, none of these companies would have made it this big had it not been for those few dedicated, motivated, and highly-skilled early employees.
Sure, go ahead and do adequate research to make sure the company you plan on joining has long-term potential. That’s perfectly reasonable. But once you are convinced by their mission and approach, don’t let fear get the better of rationality. For example, if you got a chance to join a successful and globally famed Bahraini startups like GetBaqala, who aim to disrupt the grocery delivery market or ONEGCC, who are disrupting the recruitment industry in the GCC, would you let go of that opportunity only because they are startups and were not founded a few years earlier?
As you’ll see by the time you’re done reading this article, there are several benefits of working at a startup that you will most certainly miss out on in the corporate environment. These include:
- More exposure leads to a better learning environment. Working at a startup means you are an integral part of a small team — a team where every individual’s role is unique and important. While this sounds like a lot of responsibilities on your shoulder, keep in that with more responsibilities comes more exposure to a wider spectrum of workplace situations that will help enhance and expand your skill set. For example, learning to work within a team, how to do fundraising, budget allocation, or product development.
And it goes without saying that an enhanced skill set makes your CV more attractive to your future employers. And of course, the knowledge and exposure you’ll carry along to your future job will be priceless.
- Your hard work will be appreciated. Unlike typical big corporates, complicated organizational hierarchies are an alien concept in startups with single or barely double-digit employees. You are not the metaphorical speck of dust in the organizational structure of a startup as you would be in, let’s say, a Fortune-500 giant. As a result, the unique manner in which you tackle and solve a problem will be easily noticed by your superiors.
- Visible impact of your decisions. The scope of maneuverability is extremely limited in big corporates where you’re often a part of a big team and are expected to tow a line that your immediate superior or the management dictates. Your role is strictly limited and so is your impact on big company decisions.
Startups, on the other hand, offer you a far higher degree of empowerment and authority to take important decisions. The top-management is also more accessible and receptive to your input as compared to big enterprises. In a startup, you’ll be able heavily involved in decision makings and action plans, which will, therefore, enable you to see a direct link between the effort you put into your organization and the impact it creates on the ground. This, in turn, creates a sense of accomplishment and adds to job satisfaction.
- An insight into the art of building a startup. Like we have discussed above, most startups — especially early-stage one — lack a complicated hierarchy where everyone’s role is strictly defined. It’s not unusual for a startup to assign multiple roles to the same employee depending on their experience and competence. So odds are high that by joining a part of a startup, you will also get to try out a few different hats, which in turn, will give you some serious insight into how things operate on an organizational level.
This counts as an invaluable experience should you ever plan on starting your own venture in that industry.
- Freedom and flexibility! Have you ever wondered why big corporates are so fond of stringent policies and guidelines for workplace management? Well, simply because in an organization with hundreds or thousands of employees, it is easy for unaccounted freedom and flexibility to pave the way for anarchy, indiscipline, and ineffectiveness. That’s not an issue with startups where teams are much smaller and easier to manage.
No wonder that even some corporate giants are today emphasizing on having multiple smaller internal teams instead of large divisions. For example, Jeff Bezos, founder, and CEO of Amazon Inc. came up with the two pizza rule that says each internal team should be small enough that it can be fed with two large pizzas. According to Bezos, this can greatly enhance productivity and scalability of an organization, which is precisely the case with most successful Bahraini startups.
Individual freedom tends to be abundant in today’s startup culture so long as employees get their job done. Want to work from home at a time of your choosing? Well, why not — as long as it doesn’t hamper the workflow and efficiency of the team.
Other perks of working at a startup may include:
- No strict dress code means nobody will judge you if you show up at work in flip-flops.
- A close-knit group resembling a family, which also means less of office politics to worry about.
- Since startups often operate in tight budgets, it teaches you the fine art of being frugal — if not on a personal level, it will definitely come handy if you start your own startup someday.
- And above all, the spirit of entrepreneurship can be contagious in startup communities, especially with the abundance of startup events and pitching competitions happening around the Kingdom all year long, including StartUp Bahrain Week, Tech Week, Startup Weekend, FACE-OFF, Runway to Web Summit, and more.
To illustrate on the last point, by working at a Bahraini startup, you stand the perfect chance of getting in touch with and draw inspiration from highly successful startup founders and teams from not just Bahrain, but across the world. More so today than ever when Bahrain’s ecosystem is thriving with support from close-knit communities and platforms such as StartUp Bahrain.
Not just entrepreneurs running successful startups, StartUp Bahrain also gives you the perfect platform to network with investors, innovators, policymakers, key government officials, and basically anyone that has contributed in making Bahrain a hotbed for entrepreneurial success.
Bottom line: If you harbor any intention of launching your own business at some point in the foreseeable future, joining a startup today is probably an ideal route you should seriously consider. Among other perks, it will empower you to build a network of your own and familiarize yourself with the key concepts of building and nurturing a business..
So now that you have familiarized yourself with some of the most notable perks of working at a startup, maybe it’s high time you got your feet wet by taking a peek at available job opportunities in the startup sector using leading Bahraini employment platforms such as Majra or ONEGCC.