From Enterprise to Start-up

Are you thinking about jumping ship from enterprise to start up? Do it, it’s great! Well....mostly.

From personal experience, going from enterprise to start up is both exciting and challenging. You are leaving the stable and dependable for the challenging and uncertain. Will I have a job in 6 months? Who knows. In a startup, no two days are ever the same and there is no such thing as a defined job description. Since moving to a startup I have had the pleasure of getting to work closely with the CEO and let me tell you a secret, he is a human just like the rest of us! I have been able to learn the vision and the passion behind the company and it makes doing my job so much better because I know what I am working to achieve and why.

I will be honest, it is not all sunshine and rainbows in a startup. You know the saying “The grass is not always greener on the other side?” Well this is true when you are transitioning from enterprise to startup, but you have to be willing to water the grass, give it time to grow and watch it become greener. I still remember how daunting it was to come to work every day and have to make it up as we went along, now it is just second nature. Boss: “Can you do this task” Employee: “Sure, how do I do it” Boss: “Good question, how about you develop a process and we can follow that”. Now, here I am, creating processes that one day an entire team of people will follow. I have learnt more about myself in 8 short weeks in a startup than I ever could have imagined.

But there are definitely things to consider when making the transition:

1.     Be prepared to have no idea what you will be required to do on any given day. I mean, here I am writing a blog! Didn’t see that coming. But know that you get to make your job whatever you want it to be, so have that in the back of your mind and use it to your advantage. You want to give marketing a go, give it a go. You want to try HR, do it! You are not confined to the tasks of your job description, because let’s be honest, there is no time for defined positions in a startup. It is all hands on-deck to make the company as successful as possible.

2.     Stability, or lack thereof. One of the wonderful things of working for an enterprise, is that you know your job will be there in 6,12,18 months. In a startup, you have to be prepared to not have a job if the company is unsustainable. I personally love it, who knows what will happen, but you just roll with the punches and hope that the company achieves great success and that you were part of making that happen.

3.     You don’t have a team of people around you, so if something goes wrong, it was probably your fault (Just kidding). Bureaucracy is both a blessing and a curse. In enterprise, it can feel like you’re climbing Everest to get any decision made or approval passed, but this protects you from costly mistakes.  I guess it’s a trade of security and consistency for agility and flexibility.

I am so happy I made this transition, good luck to anyone who makes the change. Would love to hear about your journey!

Written by: Natalia Butorac, Business Operations Officer, BenchOn