5 points to consider before a start-up job

In 2014, the bank’s net profit increased by 58 per cent to reach Dh5.13 billion while the group’s total income climbed 22 per cent to Dh14.44 billion. (Shutterstock)

The New Year promises to be a great year for start-ups, with industry experts claiming entrepreneurs will be the driving force for growth in 2015.

“Start-ups are going to be the engines of growth for 2015. The entrepreneurial spirit, backed by strong education, ample capital and economic policy support is going to be the engine that drives India into it’s next growth cycle,” said Vivek Madhukar, COO of TimesJobs.com.

In 2015, a large number of young professionals are expected to decline corporate jobs to venture out into making their own dreams a reality. With a vision of the future, seven figure salaries are being turned down, for a stake in a start-up and the chance to make a difference.

In 2014, nearly 55 per cent organisations witnessed candidates changing jobs to work in start-ups, according to a TimesJobs.com study.

However, it’s not easy for a candidate to evaluate a start-up offer. In fact, accepting an offer from a start-up is one of the most difficult decisions for any candidate, especially when he/she is already employed with an established brand or corporate house. So, how do you decide whether to take the plunge or not?

Here are five important pointers to keep in mind.

Money matters

Remember that compensation is directly related to what value-add you bring to the start-up. “Start-ups have increasingly become competitive pay masters compared to established large companies, but expectation from the role would also be high,” explains Anand Subramanian, director-communications and lead-internal communications & employee engagement, Ola Cabs.

Specific to the offer, while comparing salary structure and benefits, be sure to factor in ESOPs (employee stock ownership plan) and possibilities of gaining ESOPs with tenures when deciding on a start-up offer.

While it is true that early stage start-ups might not be able to match the benefits given by big corporates, well-funded and successful start-ups can do so.

Culture talk

A start-up is not a corporate set-up, look for your peer-group and culture at the work space to ensure that you are able to fit-in and be productive. Since the company is in the early growth phase, be ready for stretched work hours. If possible, try meeting the people you are going to be working with. They could well be the make or break decision point.

Accepting change

Be open to change. While large companies have intense detailing in terms of organisation structure and processes, in a start-up it is likely that you might be the one putting these in place. That’s a lot of responsibility. “Domain knowledge and prioritising work sensibly will help you sail through the long work hours,” advised Saurabh Nigam, VP-HR, Snapdeal.com.

Being accountable

Ownership and owning-up are important. Taking accountability for what you are expected to deliver, at times even deliver what is not expected. In larger organisations, there could be a peak and a trough in the case of most businesses and this is because they have been fairly established. “Be ready to give it all you have if you are choosing a start-up over a large company. The industry is constantly looking for people who are passionate and have fire in their belly,” said Upasana Nath, chief recruitment officer, Zomato.

Factor-in risks


Risks are greater in start-ups, so do your research on company to assess relative strengths and weaknesses across the industry. Don’t be afraid of seeming intrusive, after all it’s your career. “Don’t be hesitant to ask questions about revenue, profitability, competition and other such things during the interview process. And, always have a plan-B in place, in case the stint at the start-up fails,” added Vivek Madhukar, COO, TimesJobs.com

(Image via Shutterstock)

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