Having a job in the field of engineering can be hard, but what’s really challenging is working at a startup company. You’ll have to work for longer hours, in a temporary building, you’ll have to hike through a steep learning curve, etc. While this might be an exciting challenge, you have to know that there are risks. Remember that even if you believe in the startup’s mission and vision, nothing is stopping a startup from dying out anytime either. So to help you decide whether or not you should apply for a startup, here are 3 things to keep in mind.
1) Life in a startup is much, much more tedious
Though this should be obvious, it cannot be said enough. People tend to underestimate the difficulty of working in a startup. But the reality is that it’s very, very, very hard. The teams are small, so you’ll most likely have to do more work than you’re used to. You’ll probably also have to work overtime quite a lot as well, as there’s no one to fill in your job for you in your absence. “Start-ups are known to be very lean in their management style—expect your job description to be fluid. This means you have to be agile in learning and execution,” says Angeli Recella, people operations head at STORM Technologies, a Filipino tech startup.
2) Find a startup that you 100% believe in
In startups, it’s important to apply for one in a job you’re truly excited about. Find one that has a mission that you truly believe in, and want to help achieve. “You want your hires to be truly excited about what you’re building. This is true across all roles that we hire for regardless of experience or seniority,” says Ron Hose, CEO and co-founder of Coins.ph.
Familiarize yourself with what the company stands for and what their goals are, way before the interview. “Let the recruiter know how aligned you are with their company’s core values or position that you are applying for,” adds Recella. One of the best ways to catch their attention is by making a customized letter of intent to the recruiter. Use this to tell them why you’d be a good addition to their team. Give a career defining reason as to why you want to apply.
3) Over-prepare for the interview
Finally, remember that since it is a startup company, there are less people applying and less people needed. The smaller the amount of people there are, the more they’ll pay attention to every single detail of your interview. Recella advises startup applicants to prepare before hand with two steps: First, “stalk the LinkedIn profiles of their managers and team that you are applying for.” Second, you have to be real and authentic. No fake smiles or job interview emotions. Just be you. “It’s okay to be a bit quirky and be fully transparent about your geekdom,” she says.
If after all of these, joining a startup company is something you still want to do, then go for it! Engineers love a good challenge–especially if it’s something with goals they believe in, and it could be a good change of pace. Just remember these 3 tips and you’re good to go!