Startup culture is different to that of traditional companies. There’s a whole new mentality at startups around concepts like agile methodology and pushing the boundaries on new ideas. The tech startup world is exciting, and if you’re new to it, you may feel you could use a guidebook.
Here are six ways to thrive working at a tech startup:
1. Find a Company Whose Mission Fits Your Values – Startup life is more than a job. It’s a way of thinking. Small teams, shifting priorities, exploring new ways of doing things. There’s the excitement of startup funding milestones and a sense of belonging to something big. When you connect with the mission, you’ll be excited and enjoy being surrounded by like-minded people.
2. Recognize the Growth Journey – Startup culture is all about bringing a vision to life. There can be ups and downs, whether it’s managing visual content through technology or exploring sustainable building materials. That’s a natural part of entrepreneurship. It’s fun to celebrate the successes, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a challenge around the corner. It’s important to recognize both.
For example, imagine your startup secures its next round of funding; cue the champagne! Then, a month later, you lose a key employee. You’re probably familiar with the saying; there’s no shortcut to success. However, if you can get comfortable with the rollercoaster, you’ll learn a lot.
3. Ignore Imposter Syndrome – If you come from a world of hierarchy, get ready for less structure. Startups often have a flatter organizational structure. You might work directly with the CEO, and they’ll want to hear your ideas.
Feeling like you don’t belong or don’t have anything to contribute are signs of imposter syndrome. That’s not to say you have to lean the other direction and overstate your abilities either. But tech startups have room for your contributions, and good managers will give you a chance to shine.
4. Volunteer for New Tasks – The whole point of a startup is to grow – preferably fast. As an employee, this can apply to you too. Tech startups give you a chance to take on new challenges and expand your job description more than in a traditional work environment. It’s a great way to explore your interests and develop your skillset, all while helping your team.
5. Prioritize the Smart Way – The startup world is fast-paced, and priorities can change overnight. The key to working on the right things and avoiding overwhelm is to have frequent check-ins about the goals of what you’re working on. For example, what specifically are you tracking, and how does that align with your goals? It doesn’t make sense to say “yes” to opportunities that take you off-course, though it can be tempting.
Check-in weekly, at least. Are you on track?’
6. Take the Initiative – When you share your ideas and unique skills, you can become an invaluable part of the company and create change in a smaller team. Whether it’s developing your leadership skills, becoming deeply knowledgeable in a marketing skill or programming language, the skills you grow in startup culture can impact the rest of your career.
Tech startups can be vibrant work environments for those eager to embrace the unknown, push boundaries, and try new things. In some startup hubs, people make lifelong friends and evolve their skills beyond what they thought possible. The European startup scene is a particularly vibrant place to work right now. Which startup is right for you?
As a startup ourselves, here at BOOM, we know all about going that extra mile to succeed, we pride ourselves on valuing every voice and are driven by the possibilities of change.