Making the move: Is joining a tech start-up right for you?

Tired of staring at the same white-washed walls encasing your office cubicle? Fancy a change in routine or escape on a new business venture? Sure, a corporate gig may be ‘the norm’ with it’s cushy benefits and respectable pay, but there are real, career-defining reasons to join the start-up hype.

Microsoft. Amazon. Facebook. All surfaced from humble beginnings operating from a quiet suburban garage, have now progressed into the multi-billion pound tech giants we recognise today. Daniel Gulati, co-author of Passion & Purpose, reflects, “Start-ups are no longer niche; they have gone mainstream. It is seen as a real and compelling opportunity.” In summary, joining a start-up provides an experience like no other.

Torn between a corporate job at a reputable brand or gambling on a new business just starting out? Here’s what you need to know…

Risk

In the words of the great Muhammad Ali, ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will achieve nothing in life.’ With risk comes uncertainty and joining any start-up requires a certain leap of faith.

Funding and investments are often a lifeline for start-ups. The task of securing grants from investors can be unpredictable and frequently require reaching into the founder’s own pockets. Debts ultimately need to be repaid which is why a clear financial forecast is key in securing a start-up’s long-term success. Research into the startup’s viability by asking:

  • Do you have product/market fit? The product must satisfy strong market demand to be financially successful.
  • How long is your start-up runway? Analyse how long a company can survive when calculated alongside constant income and expenses.
  • What is your average growth rate? The company’s revenue mirrors your earning potential. Slow growth = less earning potential!

With all good business ventures, come competitors. Competition is rife amongst the ever-developing technology scene. Think you’ve had a miraculous Aha! moment? Chances are someone else is already working on your idea. A crowded marketplace makes for a continuous race to produce the best product, the quickest. Shifting demands and tailing competitors means that ideas must be future-proof and products flexible – luckily, technology never ceases to evolve.

Stress

Disclaimer – symptoms of stress may include but are not limited to; migraines, sleepless nights, anxiety, and even tears (we’re joking of course!). Through stress shines passion and the start-up grind is very real.

Tales of failure circulate the start-up world. Failure is often considered a necessary step on the entrepreneurial path of development with names including Bezos, Musk, and Zuckerberg all battling setbacks along the way. Employees can feel burnt out as responsibilities build and company stresses heighten. How can this be avoided? Hiring the right people is key to driving a company’s success; with valuable employees comes a supportive inner network.

When it comes to Seed Stage start-up’s, 40% of them have a founding team aged 26-30. – Seedtable, 2019.

At 2B Talent Solutions, we never compromise skills over company culture. A company’s values set the precedent for the entire brand, and employees must match. Every role is considered crucial in a technology start-up as all workers are encouraged to have an input. Company mission, core values, and talent strategy combine to represent the perfect business formula.

Progression

The values of a start-up go deeper than any buzzword, and the rewards – even more so. Working at a start-up can be an incredibly rewarding career move. Role fluidity allows workers to adopt a range of skills, allowing for greater trust and autonomy. The nature of a small team means that each employee brings with them a different skillset. With success comes growth and key hires will quickly find themselves rising through the ranks.

‘Analysis has shown that 1 year at a start-up can provide you with the same variety, intensity, and challenge as 7 years at an enterprise or larger company.’ – Explore Group Limited, 2019.

Operating from the heart of the company, a family-like unit emerges in which many larger organisations often struggle to retain. Working in such close proximity allows for fantastic learning experiences as teammates lean on each other for support – the entrepreneurial spirit is contagious. In the start-up world, it’s all about creativity and innovation (drinks in the office and team dinner dates are also VERY important).

Rewards

Tech companies are pioneering modern-day company culture, bringing with it a new expectation of working. An alternate from the corporate world, tech start-ups lean towards a more flexible and creative environment. From flexible hours to funky offices (beer fridge anyone?), networking to travel, others look to tech for inspiration.

Source: Business Live, Social Chain Office

Continuing to break down barriers, tech knows no gender. Social innovation reigns champion as tech enables employers to source talent from all over the world, awarding roles based off personality over sex. Varying ages, nationalities, and genders blend to forge diverse and multicultural teams.

Initiative goes a long way in a start-up paired with generous incentives to compliment hard work. Rapid progression makes for consistent promotions and increasing salaries. What may take years of grafting in a big corporate company, is shrunken to just a few months or even weeks as the start-up gains traction. Want to fast-track your career progression whilst establishing yourself in a new role? A start-up may be the choice for you!

The Future

Technology start-ups continue to prosper despite the devastating impact of the pandemic, accumulating a projected $41 billion of funding in 2020. Investment activity has soon recovered with $5 billion flowing into Europe’s tech sector in September alone. Notable mentions include payment platforms Adyen (133% up YTD) and music streaming service Spotify (120% up YTD), both surpassing a $50 billion valuation for the first time.

‘In its latest State of European Tech report, Atomico said 2020 would mark a marginal improvement on 2019 when it came to investment growth. European start-ups raised $40.6 billion last year, up 52% from 2018.’ – CNBC, 2020.

With already two million people employed in tech start-ups across Europe, reports predict an increase of as many as 3.2 million people in 2025. That’s 10% year-on-year growth, with eCommerce, Healthtech, FinTech, and food verticals all expected to expand (Sifted, 2020).

So, are you ready to take the plunge? If you are hungry to learn the latest tech, quick to adapt, and eager to excel, then the start-up life may just be for you! No career move comes without risk, but by aligning your priorities and planning ahead for your career, you provide yourself with the best chance of success in your potential new start-up.

Interested in learning what we could do for your business? Reach out to the team today on +44 161 806 0152 or email us at ‘hello@weare2b.com’.