The risks of working for a start-up company are very different from the risks of working for a company that is more established. In some big cities, there is an abundance of start-ups, and they are all eager to get professionals on board. Yes, it is extremely rewarding to be part of something from the very beginning, but there are certain risks of working for a start-up that you might want to consider before accepting the job.
1. Lower Salary
One of the risks of working for a start-up is that you’ll likely have a lower salary. Hell, some can’t even provide a salary. For most start-ups, cash flow is not yet as stable as for established companies, so in general they are only able to provide you with a lower salary in the beginning. It is important that you make agreements about how your salary will develop over time.
2. No Job Description
Nowadays, job descriptions don’t mean much, as most people do whatever is needed at work, regardless of what’s in the job description. When you’re working for a start-up, however, there will be no job description. You help out wherever necessary and you shape your own role. If you’re a self-starter, you’ll do just fine.
3. Irregular Hours
Some start-ups start off with part time contractors, because hiring a full time employee is too much of a risk for them. Irregular hours should be something you can deal with. Perhaps you’ll work 20 hours this week, but only 8 next week. Can you handle that financially?
4. Long Days
Although some start-ups may start with part timers, others will require you to work full time and more for very little money. The most important thing is to build the business from the ground up, so working as hard as you can is required. You have to ask yourself if you’re willing to work long days for the compensation you get.
5. No Benefits
Start-ups that are in the very beginning phase may not be able to provide you with benefits that you would get if you’d work for an established company. What does it mean to you if you have no health insurance or 401K plan? If there are no other ways for you to have a health insurance, you may want to consider a different job.
6. No Security
There is hardly any job security out there, but many start-ups aren’t able to offer any security at all. The business might not grow as expected, or clients may choose to take their business elsewhere. In these cases, you’ll be the first to be cut from the budget.
7. Inadequate Materials
Don’t be surprised to work from your private laptop and buy your own stationery. Some start-ups don’t even have a proper office, so you might end up working from your boss's home, your own home or a coffee shop down the street. Also, expect to help out as an office manager and receptionist too, once you do have an office to work in.
Although there are many risks of working for a start-up, there are also things that make it worth it. Often times, you’ll work closely together with the owner and once the company takes off, you might be the first in line for a pay rise and a higher position. It’s an experience that you would never get at a large company. Do you have experience with working for a start-up?