You might have thought, what should I do after I get my degree? The prospects of having a nine to five schedule are not bad, but not suitable for everyone. That’s when you start to think about startup projects.
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Without a doubt, it is important to avoid survival bias when discussing startup companies or projects. We know names who made it from zero to hero. Yet, not every startup is bound to be successful. Some promising ventures also can be star-crossed due to various factors.
Does it mean that you should stay away from the idea of investing your time and effort into something you think is relevant? The short answer is no. You should look at the ups and downs that you can experience when joining a team of people as passionate as you are.
At the same time, startup projects don’t have to be in a niche that would force you to change all of your dreams and plans. A kickstart is all about bringing something relevant to the market. You might have thought “how to write my paper”, while someone asked the same question and created a service that provides writing assistance to students. But would it be worthy to get into a startup project?
Risky but worthy chance you should take
Startup projects are always a lottery, in their sense. Some say it is possible to calculate all variables and scenarios to minimize losses in case of a product’s flop. Others argue that even the smallest unforeseen change can tear your plans apart.
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Some things are beyond your control, while others should be spotted in the early stages. If you don’t make the first step, you will always stay in the liminal space of “what ifs”. The fact is, you should look for red flags. Red flags are different for everyone, but here are some aspects to check before joining:
- The project is messy with its documentation;
- The team has no tech founders;
- It is implied you would bring money to the table;
- The team lacks ethics and communication;
In other cases, if it feels right, you should join.
You get an invaluable experience
Your experience and practice begin from day one as you step onboard. That’s when you start to understand how to apply your theoretical knowledge and develop a unique approach to your strategies and decisions. The biggest benefit of such enterprises is agility. You take the responsibilities that pay off with knowledge and practice in areas unavailable for you in the traditional company structure.
You should take all failures and victories as the ground for growth. Don’t focus only on how successful you manage your tasks. Sometimes you need to make mistakes to get that experience and know how to improve your perspective on the subject.
The major takeaway from your first project is insights and real-life situations. These are never described in textbooks. The market transforms and you come across all sorts of people with whom you have to cooperate.
You always learn something new
The flexibility also leaves doors of acquiring new skills wide open. If you are an expert in one particular area, you are encouraged to grow and adapt. You also have access to other areas of expertise where you can learn from your colleagues.
The flexible organization also fosters creativity and flourishes motivation when done right. Such an opportunity window is not for everyone. If you have second thoughts or doubt your talents, you can get lost with no script or clear directions. But if you have leadership skills or follow the plan, you know what to do.
It is not the case for many corporate brands. Usually, you have to stay in line with your job description and wait years before you push your advancement in the company.
You see your work results and impact
In contrast to a nine-to-five job, you rarely see the direct impact of your actions on the bigger situation. You get quarterly reports and annual meetings, but it always feels like you are not present at that position. You are a part of a bigger entity that has a voice. Yet, this voice is not yours.
When joining your first project you may be critical of your decisions and lack immediate results. It is always easier to spot negative aspects about your work than positive ones. In the beginning, everything would seem like not enough, but it doesn’t pay off over night.
You are constantly checking and communicating with your colleagues, which leads to a better understanding of how your role affects other processes. As you get more comfortable and proactive, you see how drafts change and spot how you can give more thoughtful edits.
You are the innovator
As you get your experience and new skills, you start to see something others can’t see. It is a place where you can suggest new paths and strategies to achieve greater results. The dynamic and scary environment boosts the creative thought process.
You should be resilient to stress because new ventures don’t wait for you to overcome your insecurities. If you have suggestions and you can correct the mistakes of others, you would be the most valuable member of the board. At the same time, you have to be ready to get a fair amount of criticism that allows you and others to successfully cooperate.
You develop strong communication and networking skills
Your soft skills would flourish in a team and industry that always requires changes. The flexibility of projects is not limited by you having several roles at your workplace and an increased workload. It also means that you would come across as many people as you never would meet sitting in the office. If you feel that your communication and curiosity is a driving force that can lead to positive outcomes, startups are definitely for you.
To sum up
New demanding ventures are not for everyone. It is completely normal to have doubts and feel pressure in the chaotic world of startups. But if you are the person who takes matters into their own hands, getting a startup job would be more beneficial for you than sitting in the office.