I had been a part of a startup for almost seven years and in these seven years I never thought of joining any other venture neither did the work culture of any MNC attracted me. After taking a gap of 1 year, which also happens to be a sabbatical, I still have the same fresh feeling for startups as it was before, taking the leave that is. I guess being in the startup crew is something like being into a serious relationship and this is one of the main factor, which I love about the startups, others being:
1. Floated with the crew: After my academics, I went straight for this job or I’d put it this way, I got this job straight after I finished with my academics. I as an individual as well as professional grew with the venture. Experienced the ups and downs together.
2. Work never ends: I treated my work as a baby. Nourished it will extra attention wherever I can give. Yes, this meant working 24×7 and even on holidays. Although this was not required of me but I did it voluntarily as I felt there’s more I can offer.
3. My second home: My office became my second home, where I was required to be decked-up for presentations and meetings while at the same time I walked around with shoes off.
4. Productive weekends: I realized working on weekends and holidays is the most productive, at least I can check my emails, sort out the ‘to-do list’ and replace it with ‘what not to do list’ for the coming week, do my social media, check out if there’s any barcamp’s going on around. This also included forgetting friends’ meet-up at the CCD, which I know would cover in the next weekend, or may be next after that 😉
5. Obsession with emails: Checking cellular phone or email again and again -as if it’s a refrigerator on a hot sunny noon- only to see if the client has replied then making assumptions of why not replying or why responding late.
6. Every-day is a new learning: Knowledge and the confidence, which one gains by being a part of a startup is immeasurably more than working in any other sector. Every day is a new learning experience. If one way doesn’t work, well carve another way, use your grey matter, startups doesn’t allow it to ‘store’ for future.
7. A school for life: Startup is a school for life, a place where CEO pays for imparting new learnings. People who were previously working or being part of startup fraternity one way or another started many successful ventures on their own. At least an entrepreneurial bug bites them, I’m sure.
8. Improves decision-making and thought process: Onus for assigned tasks or targets is very important and especially if you are heading a team. At time, decision- making too falls in the same category so every move taken reflects the mental equilibrium since the decision will also affect the entire team. So every time a new task is assigned or target is set, the though process works in tandem with the decision-making.
9. Re-doing is no more frustrating: I remember the first presentation I made. I was confident that my boss, the company CEO would like it but it didn’t go that way. He made corrections and asked to re-submit. Initially this let me down but doing it again for a couple of more times, I realized that the final draft was hundred times better than the original one.
10. Getting organized: I realized I have become more organized from my finances till personal belongings. Before that, I took things for granted but not today. I now have realized how important it is to respect things in life and these little little things give a feeling of triumph and peace within.
Work culture in startup is like a shark, it has to move forward consistently else, it won’t survive. This reminds me of a phase of my work. While I was working fine with my job, I thought of doing an MBA simultaneously. As I was pursuing my course, I realized that I was able to spill out practical and viable answers both for my assignments as well as exams and this was all because of my full time job at a startup.
People take degrees to get a job but in my case, it was my job that got me the ‘degree’. I can bet, my experience with the startup and the founders was damnably well, incomparable for any amount of money. It constantly propelled me forward in work and beyond and it continuous to do so.