A Day in the Life of a Startup Employee

Posted 6/13/2022 in Trends by Jen Lyons

A day in the life of a startup employee can look very different from the average day of someone working at a more established company. Here at Candidate, we believe that working for a startup can be highly rewarding which is why we work hard to match job seekers with the right startup for their unique skills and interests. But what is an average day like at a startup?

1. There very well may be no “average” day.

As we mentioned in our recent article on due diligence for job seekers, startups often require flexibility and nimbleness from their employees. You may be asked to cover a variety of tasks or work with teams from across the company, and any day could begin with your manager presenting a new task for you to complete or a problem for you to solve.

2. You may go into the office…or you may not.

Flexible work environments are all the rage these days, and many employees at startups work from home at least some of the time. Even if you’re going in for an in-person meeting—or a quiet place to work while your kids are running around the house—you may not have your own office. Communal workspaces are common as they save startups money and provide a more casual, collaborative vibe.

3. Your company is likely shifting away from the homogenous teams of the past and working to prioritize representation and unique perspectives.

Many of the startups we work with are prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) by moving away from the traditional checklist of strictly educational and professional experience required for any given role. This broadens the hiring pool and allows talented individuals from all walks of life to apply their skills in the tech startup world.

4. If your company is hiring, you could be meeting with prospective hires.

Another way startups are ensuring DE&I in the workplace is by assembling hiring committees with representatives from across the organization. Even if you’re not in HR or management, a good startup will value your input during the hiring process, and candidates will appreciate being able to ask you about your experience working for the company.

5. You may interact directly with leadership.

When you work for a startup, the rules are a little different. You likely have more interaction with the leadership team than you would at a more established company. It’s possible the CEO or founders will have a sort of “open-door policy,” making time to hear your thoughts and any concerns directly. They may also reach out to you when a new task crosses their desk that fits your skill set, rather than sending it through your manager.

6. You may be applying your skills to new areas.

One of the perks of working for a startup is getting the opportunity to develop a variety of professional skills by dipping your toe into different projects. As you learn and grow in the company, you’ll likely be asked to apply your skills in new and exciting areas, and you’ll have the chance to round out your résumé with both tangible data about projects you’ve worked on and soft skills you’ve gained. This kind of growth isn’t common in more established companies, but startups embrace flexibility and interdepartmental collaboration.

Startup operations can look quite different from the day-to-day grind at a more traditional company. There’s a reason so many people are applying for jobs at tech startups—they’re searching for flexibility, diversity, and the chance to make a real impact. Every startup is different, but one thing is for sure: each day will bring unique opportunities and challenges. If that appeals to you, a startup is going to be a great fit.

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