4 Ways to Adapt to a Start-Up Environment

By Chelsea Babin

Whether you’ve recently accepted a job at a start-up for the first time or you’re simply thinking about looking for new job opportunities in start-ups, you’ll need to be able to adapt. Start-ups are fast-paced and structured quite differently from traditional organizations. Here are 4 ways you’ll need to adapt when moving from a traditional enterprise organization to a start-up environment.

1. Embrace the Lack of Hierarchy: Visible hierarchy isn’t exactly common at most start-ups. If you’re not used to working in a flat structure it may take you a while to adapt. Instead of having rigid processes in place, most start-ups are more open and communicative. Don’t expect your bosses to have their doors closed to you the way they were in an enterprise organization but also don’t expect your daily tasks to be laid out for you. Get ready to take initiative and embrace a more open, flat structure!

2. Observe and Brainstorm: If you’ve never been a part of a start-up it’s time for you to observe! Learn everything you can about the company culture and ask your coworkers if you have questions but most of what you need to know about each specific company’s culture you’ll be able to observe. Additionally, contributing cutting-edge ideas is an important part of being successful at most start-ups so you should get used to making room in your schedule for regular brainstorming sessions.

3. Don’t Wait for Instructions: Start-ups shun hierarchy and that often means they’re free from micromanagers. If you’re a natural self-starter you’ll thrive in this environment as long as you remember not to wait for instructions. Sometimes you’ll need to assess what needs to get done and execute it without having a boss telling you what to do. It’s your responsibility to figure things out on your own in a start-up more often than in an enterprise company.

4. Problem Solve and Ship Quickly: Deadlines tend to come at a faster pace when you’re working in a start-up. Because shipping a product is key for start-ups they’ll often set fast-approaching deadlines that you’ll need to be able to meet. It’s not about writing perfect code the first time around, it’s more about shipping on time and then problem solving if and when issues arise.

Working in a start-up environment may be the perfect fit for you! But, if you’re used to working in traditional or enterprise corporations you may need to adjust in these 4 ways.

 

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