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Working For A Start-Up Company

According to Forbes, a start-up has been defined as “a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed” and also as “a state of mind… when people join your company and are still making the explicit decision to forgo
stability in exchange for the promise of growth…”

Start-ups are a fledgeling company and in Nigeria, it can be simply defined as one without structure. So, say you get a call back from
that interview–before you embark on quoting your previous tweet with “#i got the job”, here are some things you need to do:

Find Out/Ask Questions

  1. Ask – How long have they been starting up? When a company starts yielding and becomes profitable, it can, and should, no longer be called a start-up. Some would argue that a company 5-10 years in, can still be a start-up, but this is wrong on so many levels. This should be your very first question. You do want to be a part of growth but that doesn’t mean you should be the growth. How long a company has been on the struggle gives you an edge to calculate how long you have to either help make a change or go home. Once the company has no redeemable factor or bearings in the right direction, it will have no foreseeable avenue for growth in the future. You either sink or swim with it OR be the solution. If that is what you have in mind, then give yourself a timeline and set out to achieve the achievable.
  2. Ask – What type of boss you would have? A key at tribute of any start-up is growth, and more often than not, that growth is linked directly with the person in charge. In most start-ups, you will meet directly with your boss regularly. Hence, it is important to know, Is your to-be boss the type that likes to only give orders or also likes to get feedback?
    Start Up’s have an edge. Unlike most companies, it allows employees to challenge themselves to produce within their strengths. If your boss does not like to be challenged or listen to ideas from anyone BUT themselves, then…
  3. Ask – About Growth Opportunities! The rather beautiful thing about a start-up is that you do get promoted quickly, or have to jump the corporate ladder like you would at a business with a hierarchy. As far as it goes, you are a little over 18 years so it is easy to add the “Lead” title to your name or job role after 6 months in a department that you alone handle or run and in a few years, you could become an executive. If this is your thing, then go for it!
  4. Ask about benefits! – Working for some start-up’s, you might have the option to work from home on some days, and there is the perk of free lunch every day. However, these perks are not guaranteed. The free lunch could stop without prior notice or any explanation and you just may be required to come into the office on your day off. Start-ups generally would feed you with the revolutionary talk
    of you being a part of something great in foreseeable future. Your appointment letter would state that payment is made on a certain date each month after deduction of statutory payments, find out from your prospective co-workers how this plays out–if they receive these statutory when needed.
  5. Skills and Experiences – Start-ups generally need the manpower, and working for one means you will get to pick up quite a number of valuable skills because you’d have to adapt and not work specifically to your job description. You need to be ready to take on more than you applied for. This can be really good for your resume if things do not work out at the start-up and you’re forced to look for employment elsewhere. Start-ups are not for everyone, they may fail and they may not. You might have to have the sink or swim attitude working for one. If it suits you then you should go for it. If you do not have the patience and perseverance that goes into gaining skills and building a business, then this is not your call.
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