My startup journey!

Posted on 29/09/2016 by Danica Pagsisihan


My Start-Up Wild Ride... 

The first thing that struck me was that working for a start-up meant wearing multiple hats. I realised that through learning from my boss, from my colleagues, and even I become a mentor myself. I find this important because there are no areas for you to hide within a startup business and when things get tough, you get the sense of being on your own and eventually it pulls you down to a reclusive state.  The solution to this I believe, is to make people aware of your situation and feelings. This helps foster a harmonious relationship and reduces the risk of a burnout and the sense of loneliness. It brings me to highlight the fact that even though the start-up business may consist of only 2 or 3 persons, you know that no matter what happens, you have everyone, the boss included, to look to within that 'eco-system'. 

Own it!

It is widely known that one of the major reasons why start-ups fail is the lack of funds. I agree that it is a significant issue, however I feel that one of the best things I as an employee can do is to have an attitude of owning the business. One of the major things a start-up environment taught me was to take up increased accountability for what I do. Every step or decision I make could cause major harm to the business. Now I can confidently say I was able to make matured decsisions in the first 12 months doing this job compared to when I was working in an MNC previously. We are taught from day one to treat the start-up as if it’s our own, and because we become profitable in our own respective businesses, cash flow will ultimately never become an issue.

If it’s not there, build it!

Also, one can't deny that working for a start-up that eventually hits a downward spiral will hurt all members of the business very significantly. True enough, when we talk about the dollars and cents this risk definitely exists but however, I believe that the individual gains outweigh the business lossess. The creativity and confidence that comes along in a start-up environment is definitely one of the key takeaways. 

Working for a start-up forced me to think outside of the box and challenge the conventions when it does not work.  It provided me the liberty to research, explore and build initiatives that could help the strategic side of the business. Before joining the start-up, all I knew was my own expertise of recruiting and interviewing. After 4 years, I have learnt to start building projects around training and development, marketing, the recruitment cycle and even building an intranet! I am able to see how a business is built from scratch. I hardly consider these as additional work or ad hoc tasks, because at the back of my mind, I know that it will be a foundation of processes that new hires can utilise down the road and it’s all contributory to the underlying structure of the business, which in essence, feels absolutely satisfying. 

All in all, I feel that the wealth of knowledge and experience that come with being in a start-up environment is definitely infinite and valuable and I would never trade it for anything else. 

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