While it is true that startups bring about a lot of good and seemingly harmless work culture to the table (or the bean bag), I can vouch by experience that such places are not everyone’s cup of coffee (or hot chocolate).
Sure, everyone can get used to flexible work hours, dress codes, and leave schedules, but some of these perks just might be a tad too much for the good-old brains wired to function the non-glam way. Here are a few of my takeaways from working in a #Startup:
The introvert hell
A lot of startups thrive on active social engagement since the entire crew is young and getting to know the big bad world of #Business together, one red bull at a time. So naturally, it is a downer if you aren’t their kind of crazy.
It is important to network, and I loved the energy, but sometimes, the five monthly parties did a take a toll on me. I was happy with my work, but constantly questioned my social etiquette. On the flip side, I was the only one who genuinely didn’t mind getting Wednesdays off. I called nobody, nobody called me, and I got bonus sympathy points for voluntarily sacrificing my weekends.
People need desks
A startup offers you an open, no-cubicles kind of an office culture. The setting breaks conventions, is more inclusive, doesn’t make the CEO seem like the bossy boss, and of course, looks cool. However, I can’t emphasize enough on how much I missed having my own personal work space with a soft board and two stack drawers. Being able to work on a sofa or a lazy boy will always remain an unfulfilled dream. #SwagGoals
Professional or unprofessional?
Usually such companies start out in a small garage where the only people present are the ones who are really, really passionate about 'changing the world'. Thus, I understand that as and when the company grows, it might be difficult for the small family to suddenly bring about a professional work environment per se.
Startups evolve in real-time and often harbor ambiguity regarding little cultural things like open flirting and cussing. They don’t mean any harm, but the lack of an unsaid behavioral protocol can end up making an employee uncomfortable. Personally, the fact that casual cussing bothered me led me into thinking that I am not cool enough for a startup. It is a thin line of acceptability, after all.
This is by no means to say that startups aren’t good places to work at or that all the startups are the same; they still stand for everything they have always preached: less money, more passion, and free booze. Working in a startup foremost taught me how to laugh at myself, work independently (you’re the only one in the team), and that a few parties never harmed anybody’s cat. This is to simply point out how startups shouldn’t be treated like a one-size-fits-all kind of an entity or the cool bandwagon everyone wants to hop on. #workculture