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Working at a Startup: What You Need to Know

Working at a Startup: What You Need to Know
The Siliconreview
25 August, 2020

Today, many people are creating startups, which can stimulate the economy and create new jobs. There are many benefits associated with working at one of these businesses, but there are a few risks. There are a few things you should know before accepting a position at a startup.

Getting an Education

While some startups don’t require a degree, having one can make you more competitive. The industry you’re interested in will largely determine the educational requirements, but a business-related degree is highly practical. It’s a common path for those interested in entrepreneurship because it gives you thorough information on protecting, planning, and operating a company. Since you’ll likely be expected to take on multiple roles at a startup, it’s a good idea to have a broad knowledge.

It can be hard to pay for college but applying for a private student loan can help you cover the gap between your savings and the cost of tuition. Unlike federal loans, private student loans aren't based on income, so you can borrow what you need for your education. Since they’re based on credit score, you can often get a better interest rate if your credit is good.

You Might Not Get All the Benefits

Many startups attract potential employees by offering advantages like half-days on Fridays, free snacks, and happy hours. But if the company runs into trouble or gets bigger, the perks might disappear because the company can’t afford them. If the company decides to grow, they might decide their money is better spent in other areas. If you’re just taking the job because you want to have half days off or get free food, you might want to look for other reasons that the startup is a good fit.

You should also realize that traditional benefits might not be available. Consider the commute, future of the company, and ability to grow. And if the company is small enough, they might not need to offer health insurance, and you might have to pay for it yourself. Plus, the company might not offer a 401K option or maternity leave.

You Might Have Future Rewards

If the company is young enough, you might start before they officially launch. There’s a lot of work that goes into getting a business off the ground. That means certain jobs need to be done quickly. For example, if you’re in marketing, you might have to help with building a website to tell people the business exists. These tasks can bring a lot of freedom and excitement, and they’re good for building your resume. Just remember there are some risks involved as well.

One of the advantages of starting early with a company is that you may get some percentage of the business. That might not be much in the beginning, but if the startup is successful, the small investment could pay off. Even if you don’t get a share, the first employees may get promotions for helping to build the business, especially as new people are hired.