Startup Capital: Do you have the chops to work at a startup?

Jasenko Hadzic
May 3rd, 2015

This article is more than 9 years old.

They say that in business you should think big. Though, when it comes to your career it can often pay to think ‘small’.

In my case, it was the beginning of 2013 and I had officially ‘escaped the corporate grip’. I had chosen to quit my corporate job and give up the perks in favour of working at a startup. It’s truly been a crazy rollercoaster ride and it has given me a lot of great experiences. Here are my three insights into how it really is to work at a fast-paced startup.

Doing real work
Working at a startup is a double-edged sword – on one hand it will liberate you, and on the other it will give you more responsibility than ever before.

Every single day you will be able to see the direct impact of your work, as everything you do at a startup contributes directly to the success or failure of the business. Some  find this sexy, while others  find it frightening.

Continual change
The major difference between a startup and a corporation is that a startup is trying to find a business model, whereas a corporation primarily executes a business model.

This means that you have to be prepared for constant change at a startup – all while having limited funds.  This can result in stress, especially for people that are used to the regular corporate life.

1,000 percent is minimum
Having limited resources to grow a company from the ground up requires a very dynamic team. Everybody chips in within a startup family, so accordingly everybody has to be aware that they might be doing something they weren’t hired to do, at least for a period of time, to make sure the business stays a oat.

You will be expected to give at least 1,000 percent, so you should expect some late nights and busy weekends without your friends and family. If you don’t show you are ready to go the ‘extra mile’ during the crucial stages, then you won’t be around for long.

Working at a startup isn’t for everybody, and if a bit of chaos mixed into your morning coffee doesn’t get you excited, then the corporate world might be more for you.

Jasenko is a pianist, entrepreneur and community-builder. He has lived and worked in five countries and speaks eight languages. He is currently head
of #CPHFTW, an organisation run by startups for startups, which aims to make Copenhagen the best startup city in the world. Find out more at cphftw.org



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