How to make the move from corporation to start-up

How to make the move from corporation to start-up

Working for a corporation can feel like you’re winning at life. You get to enjoy plenty of perks, the workplace has all the resources you need and the experience looks great on the CV. However, some of us will eventually find a reason to leave their company and be tempted to move to smaller start-ups. 

Start-ups are worlds apart from corporations, and the switch may prove to be quite the transition. 

Downsizing tips

There will be inevitable culture shocks when moving from a corporate job to a position in a start-up. Here are some that you will need to prepare for.

  • A smaller team

In a start-up, you often get to work with a small group of people – typically around 10 individuals. Often, the entire company is your team, and you will all definitely have to work together to take your company towards a positive growth direction. Here, relationships between employees are important, so building friendships – or, at least, healthy working relationships – may be necessary.

  • Limited resource pool

Start-ups don’t have deep war chests, and employees often have to work with a small set of tools and a limited budget to get things done. You will need to make the most of what you have, so you’ll often find yourself resorting to clever workarounds or exploring new solutions and processes that can help the company. 

  • Frequent and regular assessments

Expect regular meetings discussing the company’s growth and employee productivity. Both the start-up and its workers’ performances will be assessed during these meetings, and everyone gets to have a say in the decision-making process. 

  • Dynamic work environment

You’ll often find yourself working beyond the traditional limits of your current role. As coordination is necessary between the company’s different teams, you will have to harmonise with people who have entirely different skill sets from yours, and even take part in their work if needed. 

Shift paradigm

Now, how do you get yourself ready for the move? It certainly is not easy, but here are some steps that you should take:

  • Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Be ready to work in a completely new environment with different values. Be open to actually building meaningful relationships with your co-workers to facilitate effective teamwork. 
  • Learn to work flexibly. Start-ups, especially the younger ones, often impose a people-first culture that allows employees to work remotely and at flexible times, so you’ll need to discover the joy of working at hours when you can work and collaborate with your colleagues best.
  • Ditch your old work structure. A more dynamic work environment means that working by numbers just won’t do in a start-up; be adaptable and learn to adjust to the pace and flow that your company is taking.
  • Don’t try too hard to fit in. Be yourself, and be as comfortable as you can get. Your small team understands where you’re coming from, and they’ll help you adjust to the new environment. The tricky part is connecting with them – do some huddling, strike up casual conversations, or grab lunch together.

About Sam P

EnterpriseZone Staff Writer

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