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So, You Want To Pursue Your Career In A Startup?

Most corporate gigs (if not all) will give you a better paycheck and cushy perks, unlike startups. They often come with extended hours and a hectic workload, which means that it may not be as glamorous as what you see in the movies. To many, staying in a harsh corporate environment may be mainly driven by the salary. More often than not, they would prefer to stick with what they know to be more stable. If that resonates with you, then a startup environment may not be the right fit for you.

However, if you’re looking for an adventure and the thought of a fast-paced environment and possible steep career progress excites you, working with small companies can be unorthodoxly rewarding. Besides the carefree attire that startups are generally known for, here are some other advantages that you can expect.

 

#1 Culture

One of the good thing about startups is that you’ll get the opportunity to directly contribute to the creation and growth of the business culture. This is vastly different from larger organisations, where practices, customs and values has already been set for years – even decades – and changing the rules tend to take longer if even at all.

Supahands Team

Supahands Team

Personally, what we love about working with Supahands is that you get to see talented and passionate people from different backgrounds, come together and make work fun – no matter how frantic it can be. Our Community Manager, Voon Su Yin, feels the same way too.

She says: “I feel that the culture here provides an environment that people feel comfortable in and it doesn’t make people feel that it’s a drag to come to the office. This is super important since the office is where you spend most of your time at in a week.

Besides that, the talent that you get in a startup is also very different than what you typically get in a big company. People here know what the tradeoffs of working in a startup is, but they come for the challenges and are always ready to put in the effort to make things happen. It’s an addictive environment that constantly pushes you to adapt and learn all the time.”

Isn’t that inspiring?

 

#2 Innovative Environment

Being part of a passionate and enthusiastic entrepreneurial team within an innovative environment  is also one of the most rewarding things about startups. It sparks inspiration on every level. Plus, with the blurred lines of hierarchy, employees are given the freedom to get the job done in a much quicker and more efficient manner.

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Mabel Tan, our bubbly teammate shares: “As a Product Manager, working in a startup has allowed me to experiment and push new ideas forward – the environment allows me to quickly test my  ideas and see if they sink or swim. I believe this iterative process is a stepping stone towards innovation – and having the freedom to do this together with the team is what I feel is great about working at Supahands.”

 

#3 Visibility/ Transparency

Visibility is a crucial element to building a great working environment. It helps an organisation establish trust with its customers, investors and most importantly, employees. In a small company, everyone is accountable. By being

Mark Koh

Mark Koh

transparent, it inspires employees to do their very best because they know that with everything they do, they’re directly affecting the overall success of the company.

Agreeing with this notion, Mark Koh, Co-founder /CEO of Supahands divulges: “I think it’s important have transparency within an organisation so that everyone can be on the same page. By sharing necessary and important information, everyone will feel important. They will no longer feel that they’re just employees, but they’re part of the company. This will make them more engaged in working towards the common business’ goals and vision.”

 

#4 Diverse Skills/ Responsibilities

Unless you’re joining a heavily funded startup, the advantage of working at a newly established company isn’t the salary, but the opportunity to do work that helps you master a variety of transferable skills, or skills that are relevant across roles and industries.

According to our Head of Digital Marketing, Amine Chraibi, department-specific and ideas are generally welcomed from everybody. So the chance of working closely with a different team and expanding your knowledge is a lot higher. This means that the chances of you picking up new skill is high.

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Supahands in action

For instance, during your first year of working at a startup, you might get experience in project management, client relations, sales and marketing. Sounds like a lot work? That is the reality of startups and it’s not something to be afraid of.

The best part – the skills you gain can be transferred into powerful positions in the corporate world. You’ll polish your CV and have much more to offer as an individual, particularly when you think it’s time to move on to something else or even to start your own business.

 

#5 Ownership/ Accountability

For early-stage startups, teams are generally small. To be part of or by playing an integral role in the creation of a product and feeling that you yourself have created something that will help improve the lives of others will give you that sense of ownership. This fulfilling experience is not something that you can easily replicate in bigger working environments, where it’s easy to feel like a small part of a gigantic machine.

Supahands' Drumbeats

Supahands’ Drumbeats

Having the experience of working in a larger corporation before joining a startup, Supahands’ Marketing Analytics Nerd, Juinn Tan, shares her view:  “Working in a startup allowed me to learn “accountability” really quickly as I took ownership of the projects that have been entrusted to me. Budgets are tighter and teams are leaner compared to my time in a large multi-national corporation, so there is very little room for error. Thus, the responsibility when handling tasks is greater.

A lot of what each person (whether individually or as a team) executes, contributes directly to the success of the startup, so the passion for work is more noticeable. It’s a difficult and steep learning curve, but it’s an important lesson especially for those who are just starting their career journey.”

 

#6 Recognition/ Opportunities

The chances of being acknowledged for completing an important task can be lower in a big company. It’s nothing personal. It’s just harder to stand out when you’re in the middle of a sea of people in a large organisation.

But, if you’re working for a startup, someone will instantly shoot a message on Slack or Email to the entire team congratulating; or thanking them for completing a task or achieving a goal. While it doesn’t seem like much, that positive motivation works wonders for an individual.

Supahands' Share Affair

Supahands’ Share Affair

On the flip side of that coin, it’s also really easy to see when you’ve made a mistake. If criticism is delivered and accepted in the right way, mistakes always mean a new lesson learnt quickly.  After all, it’s nearly impossible to slack off, which keeps you focused and on your game.

Here at Supahands, we have weekly meetups, twice. We have our ‘Drumbeats’ every Tuesday, to talk about each department’s achievements and roadblocks (if there’s any) and Share Affair on Thursday. It’s an opportunity for employees to talk about their interests and encourage seamless knowledge sharing.

 

#7 Fun Team Activities

Startups are known for working very hard but also playing equally as hard. Chances are, most startups will come up with activities or events, whether small or big, to reinforce the team’s relationship. If people feel happy and are enjoying their work, then without a doubt they’ll be more motivated and productive. We, Supahands are pretty good at it, if we do say so ourselves.

Supahands' Team Building

Supahands’ Team Building

We do love the occasional team exercising sessions here at Supahands, as we learn to play Ultimate Frisbee together or if it comes to beating other startups’ teams at futsal (we’re a competitive bunch!).

Supahands' Futsal Session

Supahands’ Futsal Session

Besides that, weekend trips hiking up a mountain or driving across state borders together are not uncommon even though it might be hard for many to imagine voluntarily spending their weekends with colleagues.

 

#8 Entrepreneurial Training

Do you hope to start your own company someday? Working at a startup could be just the experience you need to get you one step closer to your goal. Startup employees work so closely together, you’ll be able to watch to learn how decisions are made at the top, client relationships are grown, and how day-to-day business matters are handled. Not only that, the drive and energy you’ll feel everyday in the office will become infectious, and give you the extra push you need to step out on your own.

 

To conclude, working in a startup environment may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, it sure teaches you to push the envelope, be creative and discover skills, as well as qualities you never knew you had.

For those who just graduated, it is a great way to acquire experience and continue learning, while working in a dynamic environment. Meanwhile, for the experienced professionals, a career change down this unknown path may be the best way get out of your usual routine and set new goals, fuel a passion or continue growing as individuals by using your knowledge to help create something new.

If you think that you’re the right fit for a startup environment, check out Supahands! Our squad is growing fast and we’re currently looking for SupaAwesome talent to join our developer, designer, sales and operation team. 

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