Working in a start-up can take its toll on the employees. It can be hard to cope with expectations of customers, founders, and the team. If that is not enough, you have family members that want you to work for established brands or expect overnight success in your start-up.
They are misled by media coverage that highlights only the success stories for start-ups. But working in a start-up is challenging, it requires a balanced and pragmatic approach to succeed.
As per a study conducted by American Institute of Stress, 80% of people feel stress on the job. So, if you feel overwhelmed in your job, you are not alone.
The best professionals learn the art of dealing with stress, perform consistently, manage work life balance & attain great success. Here is a look at traits that make start-up employees highly successful in their jobs:
Skills & Efficiency:
A start-up gives you a great opportunity to work on your skills and efficiency. There is constant pressure and demand on you to deliver quality work. It is a great opportunity for you to polish your skills and efficiency.
Many times you will be assigned tasks that are beyond your current skill set, but learning on the fly is part and parcel of the job. The best professionals spend time on refining and constantly learning new skills to improve themselves.
Excellence & Execution:
What creates excellence? Often you see that one person thinks that his work is a burden, whereas the other one enjoys his work. In a start-up, you are constantly on the firing line, loaded with tasks. You need to execute things day in day out. Mediocrity doesn’t get you anywhere.
When you enjoy your work and are passionate about it, excellence follows. Excellence is rewarding, it helps you financially, brings respect and fulfilment too.
Learning beyond Imagination:
Learning is never wasted. Even if your company doesn’t do well, you can still rise and succeed in your career based on your skills and learning at the start-up. You will have a long list of responsibilities and exposure to various products/services etc. This is invaluable experience that is rarely available at bigger companies.
A lot of senior professionals rue the fact that they didn’t try things when they were young. A start-up is a great place for learning, experimentation and growth. You are often building things that shape the company.
You don’t have to deal with corporate politics; can spend more time learning and doing things that really matter. No one can ever overlook your contribution and quality of work in a start-up.
Innovation & Creativity:
A small team and company gives you a chance to be creative and innovative. Start-ups have to think out of the box to create their niche and succeed. This gives an unparalleled opportunity for everyone involved to come up with new ideas and solutions. Your creativity in building products/services is often the differentiating factor that helps your company succeed.
Grab the opportunity to rise up the ladder and be an indispensable member of your company. Your work not only defines who you are, it also builds you as a person.
Often you will get to lead people at an early stage and make a difference to the products/services, people and culture. Ultimately, the products that you build are the products that build you.
Exercise & Switch off time:
For you to stay in good shape and state of mind, you need to find time to exercise. Find out what works best for you, whether it is morning walk, meditation or gym etc. and religiously schedule time for it. A good morning routine can make a world of difference to your day.
Switching off from work and internet can relax you. The most successful people in all walks of life devote time to exercise. It is a must for people who have a sedentary lifestyle.
The quality of your work is determined by your focus. In an age of digital distractions, social media and messaging apps, it is hard to focus. The first two hours of the day are very crucial. Your brain is most attentive and can handle the toughest tasks during this period.
You can focus on important and hard tasks during this time. The best professionals have a way to stay away from their smart phones, social media and all unnecessary distractions.
In a huge corporation, you can afford to do only what you are told. But in a start-up, you have to be proactive. You need to take lead role in many different areas including your day to day work.
A start-up requires individuals that are self driven and take initiative to get things done. Your job is not to bide time but to create value for the company, its customers and yourself.
The hustle of a start-up is different. It teaches you to work at speed and get more done in less time. One of the differentiating factors that make start-ups successful is the pace at which they can get things done. The speed at which you deliver things decides the fate of your products and services.
The odds are against you. You are constantly dealing with problems in a start-up. Everything looks messy, uncertain and problematic. You don’t move ahead by complaining, but by fixing the pain points. The best start-up employees are problem solvers.
They focus on finding solutions and make it a habit. They treat problems as opportunities to unleash value for their customers, peers and the company.
Results not Efforts:
It doesn’t matter how much time or effort you put into your work, unless you can get the results. It is a hard fact. Your success is measured by what you have accomplished not by your efforts. You will make mistakes in a start-up.
But how quickly you can learn, improvise and ultimately deliver what is required decides your success. When you are fully committed, passionate and give your best, you make progressive efforts that produce the results.
Every big company started small. While majority of start-ups fail, yet the quantum of progress you can make on professional and personal front is incredible. When you give your whole hearted efforts & commitment for a considerable amount of time, you will succeed.
Working in a start-up that takes off and succeeds is highly rewarding. Even if the start-up doesn’t succeed, the skills and exposure you get working there is invaluable.