Since joining the exciting and ever-changing tech industry, I’ve learned that it’s not uncommon to move jobs regularly. If not to advance your career, then at the very least to ensure your career is aligned with where the industry is going.
As someone who made the jump from a larger tech company, LinkedIn, to startup life at Sharethrough, I can tell you that there are some major differences, but both are incredible experiences.
The employee-employer relationship is one of the most important relationships in a person’s adult life. I’ve been lucky in this regard, but there were still some major transitions to adjust to when it came to making the shift from LinkedIn to Sharethrough.
The First Cut Is The Deepest: Making The Jump
After leaving LinkedIn, I went through some culture shock. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking, “What have I done? Did I make the right decision?“ With an eye toward the future, I reminded myself why I left in the first place and everything I loved about Sharethrough. I wanted to be part of the evolution of native advertising and I felt fortunate to have that opportunity. Nevertheless, change is scary and with change comes inevitable cold feet. If you’re considering making the same leap, expect to feel uneasy about it at times but know that working for a startup on the cutting edge has a ton of upside.
Once you get over the hump of fear and anxiety, you can focus on all of the greatness that startup life has to offer.
Moving On: The Pros of Working At A Startup
Opportunity: This is the pro that carries the most oomph at a startup. If you’re committed to it, opportunities are endless. Put your hand up for out-of-the-box opportunities, be vocal about what your interests are and how you think you can contribute and you can be sure that someone will be happy to listen.
Passion: Everyone is passionate about what they’re doing and it resonates throughout the company. You can feel it when leadership speaks to the company at All-Hands meetings about the past, present, and future of the company and in the decisions that are made to set us apart and make products that are better advertising solutions for our clients.
Contributing feels bigger: There are few things more satisfying as a professional than having an idea that actually turns into something that makes a real difference. If you decide to join a startup, you should know that you’ve made a decision to make a contribution to something you can believe in.
Nobody’s Perfect: The Points of Adjustment
Patience is a virtue: Once you’ve joined a startup, it’s natural to focus on all of the opportunity that lies ahead and what you imagine the company can and will become with so many great minds behind it. But, it’s not there yet. Be prepared for glitches in systems and processes that need tweaking and products that are adapting on the fly.
You need to be able to adapt to change: Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a desk-sharing situation, experiencing multiple office moves, or even in a temporary office space, while the company tries to find a suitable permanent home for your group. Change comes at you fast in a budding startup, and brings with it some challenges in the process.