Starting – and even pursuing – a career can be likened to reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book – you, as the reader, can make the choices that dictate the protagonist’s course of action. And similar to the decisions faced by a book’s main character, a person’s career options, depending on one’s distinct preferences, may prescribe taking the conventional route (i.e. working your way up in a multinational firm or taking on a role in government) or the other way (read: unusual) around, such as starting off with a startup.
Ready. Game. Start(up). If the prospect of joining a startup is on your radar, an article by Gourmet Society Philippines’ VP of Operations Joost Boer intends to give valuable insight on your planned transition by citing important factors that can help decide if the startup you have in mind is the best option available:
1. The Team
File under: “A startup way of life”. Not to scare startup career aspirants but most startups fail, with some statistics citing a 71% failure rate. Be on guard against this possibility by doing your homework. Start by researching about the startup’s founders as much as you can. Have they identified key goals for the venture? What are their qualifications? Any hits and misses in building companies? The answers obtained may turn out to be a good predictor of future outcomes.
2. The product
Examine the product or service offered by the startup. Can you get behind what they offer 100%? If not, then it’s probably not a good time to proceed. Not being fully invested in a startup’s product and being devoid of contagious passion and energy for the task at hand is a recipe for disaster.
3. The culture
What is the vibe that the startup exudes? What do your eyes and guts say about their way of life? Job fit is one key area not to be overlooked but culture fit is a bigger issue to consider as well. You want to ensure that you and your prospective teammates are on the same page in terms of value sets and big picture objectives.
4. Long-term vision
It’s all part of the plan – that is if the management team actually has one. Does the startup have a clearly defined picture of where it wants to be both in the short-term and long-term? Where do the startup’s founders see the company in 5 years and have they identified steps to get there? Yes, building the company takes time but doing moves on the fly without a cohesive blueprint in place is a big red flag.
Keep in mind these four aspects to consider when evaluating your decision to step into a startup as an employee. True, it is an endeavor fraught with its own risks and rewards but also a venue where constructive lessons and unique opportunities are available. Now, if given the chance, would you explore taking on a startup career? Who says yes? But for those really looking to throw their hat into the startup ring, they may get in touch with the folks at Gourmet Society Philippines, who are more than willing to assist.
Image by JD Lasica