Before You Decide to Work at a Startup Company, Read This

Out of the blue, kind of, when I decided to make my own website/blog, and was wondering what my first article should be about, I got laid off.

The history of HOW I got laid off is so boring, but if you want to hear it, contact me from CONTACT.

What I’m trying to say to you, my dear Millennials here, is that before you decide to start working for startup companies, just please read what I have to say about them. Trust me, it will help you go a long way.

i) Startup companies can usually be divided into 2 categories. First category includes rich companies loaded with money, already running for a few years, relatively popular in the startup market for what they do, and more or less stable. Second category is of course poor companies with no money and barely standing on their feet. Do you know to which category your company belongs? Which one are you trying to work for? I’m sure it’s difficult to have a clear view of what’s going on in the company financially as an outsider, but try to identify whether the company has enough funds. Can they pay your salary steadily every month on the same day? Is there a possibility that they force you to work without paying overtime? I understand startup companies can sometimes lead you to staying at the offices till late night, but the question is: Are they going to pay for that?

ii) Talk with the workers! Interact! Have a dialogue! Of course, they will sugar-coat every answer to your question. NEVER HESITATE TO ASK MORE QUESTIONS. Ask them as much as you like about everything. If it’s possible, try checking the background of the workers. Usually they are listed on the official website if the company has one. Search everything about everyone. Who is the CEO? Who is the chief manager? Where have they all worked in the past? If the company consists of workers who have experiences working in large firms in the past, it’s likely the workflow will be smoother compared to other small startup companies, because they would already know the rules in doing business. Although it does not mean that the company is bad if no worker there has ever worked for a big company before, it may slow down the process of workflow simply because no one would know what to do and where to start from. And no one would have any connections, and that’s not good because no connections = no potential clients. No clients = no profit.

iii) Did you sign a contract before you started working for them? Some companies cannot even conduct such a basic act of presenting a worker with a contract. To work for someone means to sign a contract, e.g., how many times a week you’ll show up to the office which is located somewhere (or not located, or does not even exist) as full time/part time/intern/whatever and you’ll get paid about how much on this day of month…and in return for that, you’ll work hard for that company. Do they have employment insurance? Do they pay taxes? Do they provide you with some kind of subsidy? The labor system differs depending on in which country you reside, but try to obtain as much information as possible regarding labor rights.

iv) Now let’s say you got in to your desired company.  Congratulations, I’m happy for you! If we assume that major corporations separate people by the universities they graduated from or how much volunteer work they’ve done in the past, or by how wealthy your mommy and daddy are, then startups are SURVIVAL GAMES. They don’t give a shit from where you graduated, or with what surname you were born; they care if you can stick with them during the most agonizing hard times. You have to be more ambitious, more curious, and quicker on doing your job, than anyone else. You have to have a steel heart so you won’t have a mental breakdown when things do not go the way you want them to, because in startups, that’s a default situation. No one is going to teach you how to write business emails; mostly they don’t have a training program, and everyone is busy doing their job. You are there to do what you like, not for the stability. Out of 100%, 90% of the work you do may make you happy, but expect to stay up late till morning to do the rest of the 10% job that you don’t want to do. Those who showed what they are capable of, will survive. It’s a good experience, I guess?

v) Now a different situation. The company you got in was a POS and you want out immediately. I totally understand that, and support your decision. The startup world, is hectic, and every day/week someone gets in, or out, or goes missing. Everyone has a different life rhythm, so you can’t really blame the gone ones, but if you decide to join the gone ones, at least be responsible. Finish whatever you started until the convenient point, and clearly show your intention that you do not want to work for them anymore.

vi) Finally, this situation can happen too. Say your company, one day, tells you to kindly resign for whatever reasons. In that case, please don’t go sue them because there is no way you’re going to win, and it’s just a waste of your precious time and money. Even if you sued them, what could have been a peaceful negotiation for retirement money, may turn into a bloody lawsuit where you’re going to be left without a penny. Just be a good person, and say that you understand the company’s decision and are ready to quit the job. You are
free to do anything you want after quitting and receiving your last paycheck.


Have a productive day, Millennials.

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