Austin Tran is the marketing assistant at a London based digital startup, called ClickMechanic, which enable users to quickly and easily get their car repaired, since their founding in 2012.
Here, Austin busts some common myths around working for a startup…
- You need to have a degree in Computer Science
It’s true that many startups are tech focused, and there is certainly a shortage of developers (though not just in the startup world). However, scaling a business requires not just building a great product, but actually selling it. There a multitude of roles available in startups where you will pick up new skills along the way.
- You will just pour coffee
Working in a startup can be intense, the team is relying on you to perform in order to grow the business. This means that you’ll have much more responsibility at a startup than in a corporate environment. You’ll be asked to job straight in from day one, often to do things that you don’t know how to. Whilst this responsibility can seem daunting at first, this is often one of the main reasons given for high job satisfaction in startups.
- Work-life balance
Since you and your team will be trying to achieve great things with few resources in a fraction of the time it should take, you should be prepared to graft. Prioritisation is key to managing your workload, but the occasional late night or day at the weekend to finish a project is inevitable. The saving grace is that working hours tend to be more flexible, which can suit those who prefer to work late than face early mornings!
- Your job title is your destiny
When you’re hired by a startup, you’ll be given a job title; don’t think this is all you’ll do. You’ll be tasked with whatever needs doing rather than what fits under your role. This means one day crawling through spreadsheets and another out delivering flyers! The variety of work in a startup can save you from the boredom that leaves you banging your head against your desk at the end of the day.
- You get Google style perks
The startup world is associated for great benefits, with offices branded as campuses, and free massages. These tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Most startups aren’t flush with cash, and so your perks are more likely to be free beer in the office on a Friday evening than free health insurance and gym membership.
Working in a startup certainly isn’t for everyone, you need to be prepared to be taken outside of your comfort zone, work hard and learn fast. You’ll end up working harder for less pay than some of your friends in corporate jobs, but your work will be varied, you’ll learn a whole host of new skills and get to share in the achievements of your company. It can be an incredibly rewarding career choice, especially early on in your career.