Things to Consider when Joining a Startup


You’re thinking about making a career change (or perhaps your first job out of College), and you’re looking at different types of organisations. Startups are appealing for the excitement and opportunity, but will you thrive in a less-structured, fast-paced organisation? How can you evaluate whether the Startup is right for you? Things to consider when joining a Startup, and what questions should you ask yourself?

There is very limited information available for Startups and deciding to take a startup job is confusing even for professionals.
Whatever information is available is based on what the employer writes on their website or employees write on review platforms like Glassdoor. Popular opinions are often subjective and based on the media hype. The result is people end up either joining a wrong startup or miss out on an opportunity at a very promising one.

But as a potential employee, your goal is not to pick the next unicorn. It is to find the best startup job that offers you the right career opportunity at the lowest risk possible. You know what you’d be investing (your time & energy) and what would be the rewards (new job role, compensation, growth).
What you don’t know is how much risky the startup is. Will it survive, and flourish, in the coming years? Or will it be another one to fire/lay off people or just shut down completely?

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Evaluation Model:

What Stage is the Startup in?

Joining a Startup is most beneficial when the  Startup is in early or growth stages. Business Lifecycle

How good is the Team?

You will have to spend most time of your day with the team at the Startup. Startup is not an individual success, it’s a team game. It’s better to know the track record of the team.

Finances? Have they raised any funding?

Funding is important for 2 reasons:
One is to make sure that you’ll get your salary on time.
Second is to understand if the company has resources to grow.

Has the Startup been growing??

If a Startup has been stagnating, then it’s generally not a good sign.

Other companies/competitors ??

You need to understand the space well before joining the company. you need to understand who are the other players in the market whom you’ll be going head on against.

Market Sentiment?

Has the Startup been attracting negative publicity from employees, customers, partners etc?

What Technology stack do they use?

Good developers will generally choose their poison and would want to work on the latest and most advanced technologies. otherwise also, its better to understand the tech stack that the company is using and decide if you want to work on it or not.

Customer category?

B2B and B2C are completely different ball games both in terms of size and processes. See what you are experienced at and what you would like to explore.

Value Chain Analysis?

Whether a Startup is creating a technology/content or is it a curator? Do They manufacture physical goods or are a logistics company?

Business Model?

What kind of business model does the Startup operate under?

Doing thorough research early on helps you ask the right questions during the interview and make an informed decision.
You can use StartupFlux to assess your potential employer before joining.