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What do you love about working in a startup?

There’s a lot to love about working in a startup - being part of something game-changing, the flexibility, the pace and the excitement but there can also be real tradeoffs - in salary, title, and work-life balance. We’ve chosen this path of supporting startups because to us the buzz of the pros far outweighs any cons. But what about others? We asked four of our most recent placements what it was about startup life that kept them in the game.

I love start ups because you can crank out work without a lot of baggage, you move really fast and it's exciting- you're working on new projects and it's not process driven- it feels like when you're young and you have freedom to do what you love, but always producing functionality

Henry Penny, Putti

The ability to act fast, with no bureaucracy. It’s the Day 1 thinking - where you can do what you need to do without someone saying that it won't work. You can think, act, fail fast, iterate.

Paul James, Timescapes

Three reasons I love working in a start-up: The passion - I think working with founders, there is a clear vision, a clear ‘why’ of what you are all working towards, which creates a very unified team. It’s also very inspiring to be around and I have personally found Sam very open to sharing his knowledge with me when I ask. The pace - because roles are often slightly blurred as the company is rapidly evolving, it does reduce the feeling of the corporate hierarchy that I’m used to. Your range of skills are more utilised and valued, rather than a ‘stay in your lane’ mentality. It has helped me connect with other teams quickly, which creates a nice social aspect of work and it allows you to learn from other teams, to expand your own skill set. Creativity - within a start-up, the level of growth needed demands creativity. Ideas are constantly being thrown around, and workplace efficiencies are encouraged, rather than the corporate ‘well this has always worked’. I think feeling safely challenged at work, creates fun, which builds an engaged team, encourages constructive communication, and I genuinely look forward to these conversations

Johanna Bridgman, The Pure Food Co

I like how closely I work with everyone from the CEO & CTO through to tech & marketing. Also the ability to have a say in how the product is shaped, not just having to sell it

Bailey Roiall, Aider

What keeps Sprout People in the game and passionately supporting startups?

  • The exposure, you get so much exposure in a start-up

  • The rollercoaster ride, yes it has its downs, but that is part of it. It's really rewarding on the good days

  • You get heard, if you have a great idea or you put in the extra it gets noticed

  • Mindset is valued more than experience

  • You get some cool t-shirts…

  • The pace, the constant change, the ability to start from the ground and build up to make it truly theirs.

  • The energy and learning opportunities, with a start-up you end up doing all sorts of things and can grow rapidly.

  • The sense that you can create something bigger than anything you could do on your own. The need or gap they are filling is easy to get excited about.

Our top tips for making it in a startup

Tim Judd - Learn to enjoy the roller coaster - there's so much to learn from each high and low

Ariane Tredrea - If you don’t know how to do something or something isn’t working well then learn how to get it done and make it better

Fleur Clough - Find a way to understand the mindsets that you need, and find a way to ensure you hire to that

Brien Keegan - Ownership mindset; treat the start-up like it is 100% yours and then that helps drive the extras, the extra effort, the desire to create a wow factor, the ability to think beyond today, to think about the impact you create

Pip Spyksma - Be comfortable living in the grey and find people who like living there with you. In a startup there are so many different paths you could take to make the business work, you need to be able to bounce ideas off someone and be totally comfortable that it may lead nowhere or it's equally possible it could end up being your focus for the next month - in either case you need to have people around you who you can explore with. That's not for everyone - and that’s ok!

So, if you're considering diving into the world of startups, be like Nike JUST DO IT. Embrace the excitement, the challenges, and the rewards that come with it. Before taking the plunge, connect with someone already immersed in startup life for a chat. Are you ready to make your mark in the startup scene? Connect with us or reach out to those who have already taken the leap.

Written by Pip Spyksma
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