Greetings and Welcome to the November 2018 E news.
- Joining a start-up or an Established Company
- Group News
Joining a Start-up or an Established Company
Julia Austin of the Harvard Business School in an article - What are the trade-offs between going to a start-up versus joining a mature company outlines the trade-offs between both. She says “putting aside for a moment industry preference and how you feel about the products the company is building (both of which are very important!), most of the differences between a start-up and mature company are pretty obvious. In a mature company, you will likely have more role models to learn from and stronger teams to collaborate with, a clear direction and a mature board. The role you consider may have a narrow scope, but could offer deeper learning and of course great benefits, compensation and the like. You’ll also receive exposure to what good (or bad) looks like at scale and possibly a nice brand for your resume. Start-ups can offer a chance to do all the things that can be either a blessing or a curse depending on your interests. You may miss out on having peers to collaborate with, be forced to look outside your company for mentors and role models or have limited budget to get work done. But you may earn high-value equity in exchange for lower-than-market-level pay. If you want to dig more into deciding which start-up to join, I suggest Jeff Bussgang’s book Entering StartUpLand, which goes deep on the different roles at start-ups and how to get your foot in the door.”
On the issue of leadership she claims that one thing often overlooked when considering a new job is the leadership of the prospective company. Serial entrepreneurs will have a very different approach than someone who has limited real-world experience. And mature company executive teams can be world class or “legacy” leaders who can’t move with the times. There are many trade-offs when factoring leadership into the decision process of start-up versus mature.
She adds that one with experience in a start-up may have challenge adjusting to a mature company and vice versa. She describes how much of a fan she is with those who’ve joined companies early and scaled with them. They have learned an immense amount from those experiences and can often start scrappy but know how to operate at scale for a Win-win.
Regardless of whether you are a seasoned veteran or fresh out of school, she poses some questions for those seeking a job either in a start-up or a mature company. What tools do you want to add to your toolbox? Will the role allow you to hone skills you already have or add new ones?
- Who do you want to learn from and how do you want to learn? You can learn from experienced colleagues and mentors but having bad role models can also teach you a lot about what not to do. Similarly, if you are an experienced hire coming into a company started by inexperienced founders, you may want to learn by mentoring or teaching these young leaders. Taking the skills you’ve developed over your career and applying them to a new situation in itself can be a very enlightening experience.
- Who do you want to work with? How important is the size and culture of the team you’ll work with? Remember, you’ll probably spend more waking hours of the day with these people than anyone else in your life – regardless of the size and nature of the company you join.
- What do you value? At the end of the day, love what you do and decide what role will allow you to maintain the integrity of who you are and who you aspire to be!
To read the full article please visit https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/startup-or-established-company-which-is-best-for-you?cid=spmailing-22762498-WK%20Newsletter%2010-24-2018%20(1)-October%2024,%202018
Look forward to being in touch with the December e news next month.
With Best wishes