Updated on June 22nd, 2018
When you start a new job, you’re making an investment, and it’s a big one — time.
Choosing to go with a startup for your next employment opportunity has a lot of reward potential, but it also carries a lot of risk. Half of all new businesses fail in the first five years. Of those that do succeed, few make it past the small business phase. This makes the success of companies like Uber and Airbnb so compelling.
Early startups often consist of a small team, usually 10 people or fewer. Startups in the growth stage might have up to 100 employees, while those transitioning to a sustainable enterprise often have hundreds of employees and multiple offices.
Getting in during the early stages has the greatest payoff when you find a company with the expansion potential of Uber, for example. These unicorn startup jobs exist; finding them is the challenge. Before you invest your time in any startup, ask yourself a couple of questions.
Early-Stage Startups: How Early Is Too Early?
Before you invest in stocks, you need to think about your risk tolerance. The same is true when looking for early stage startup jobs. The earlier a startup is in the development process, the greater the reward but also the greater the risk. Small startups need people who are ready and willing to wear multiple hats and invest a lot more than just a 40-hour work week. These businesses need new hires that are as passionate about the business as the founders.
If you want to learn a business from the ground up, an early stage startup may be for you.
What About Job Security?
If the constant run and uncertainty of an early stage startup isn’t what you’re looking for, you might want to look for startups in the growth stage. Most of these businesses last beyond the first five years, offering a much safer bet on the job market. These companies already have proof of concept and a successful market entry, but they often need to improve business processes and their corporate identity. Zego is a solid example of a startup entering its growth stage. Look for companies in a similar situation with an established – though brief – history.
What Do the Experts Say?
Venture-backed startup jobs may not have the same risks as a direct-to-market startup. Venture capitalists spend a lot of time learning to recognise lemons and lemonade. If you want the challenge of working for a startup, but would like to limit your exposure, look for startup jobs in London with startups that have completed at least two rounds of venture capital funding. These companies on the verge of transition are looking for more specialised employees. Instead of the multiple hats of an early stage startup, working at a company in transition allows you to become highly specialised in a specific area of business development. An example of this type of startup is Onfido.
Startup Jobs – Get some Tips!
When looking for the not-quite-mythical unicorn startup jobs out there, be honest with yourself about what you are looking for:
- If you want to be involved in every aspect of the business, live and breath your work, and invest all of your energy into raising a company, go with an early-stage startup.
- If you want a more balanced risk-reward equation, think about startups in the growth stage.
- If you want to minimize your risk and specialize within the company, find startups on the verge of transition.
Looking for startup jobs in London? New openings for non-tech positions in marketing, business development and sales. Get recommended to startups like TransferWise, GoCardless or MarketInvoice. Join in 5 minutes! www.kandidate.com