1. No, you don’t have to take a salary cut.
2. Yes, a lot of startups are stable and won’t (hopefully) shut down
3. No, they don’t expect you to be an expert in iOS, rails, golang, node, hadoop and angular
These are our responses to the 3 questions we get asked the most.
I’d like to break the myth that joining a start-up is extremely risky. It is not. In fact it is as risky as being in a corporate environment where your skills don’t grow. At some point when you need to move on from your “safe” job, you realise that you don’t have the skills the market demands. Think about it. As risky.
So what are the factors you should consider? (these are the questions we get asked the most at GeekTrust)
1. Money. Will I get paid enough?
You don’t have to take a pay cut. If a start-up asks for it, it’s because they are at very early stages of starting up, and will offer you higher stake in the company in return. There are more than enough startups that will pay you market salaries and more.
2. Job security. Will the company last?
Start-ups need not be defined by how long they’ve been around. To me, a start-up is defined by the kind of environment and empowerment you get, and the potential for growth. There are many companies who fit the above definition of startup AND have a stable business. A startup I work with has a great business model, has been generating revenue for the last 4 years, and now they want to focus on rebuilding their systems for scale.
3. Skills. Do I have the right skills?
This is the toughest one. And can be answered only by yourself. Startups, rightfully, can’t afford to put you through a 2 month training program to pick up new skills. But most startups we work with look for solid tech fundamentals and a reasonable exposure to different technologies. Apart from this, the most important thing is attitude – the willingness to be humble, acknowledge new areas you need to grow in, and work hard to contribute. That’s all.
That said, there are enough opportunities out there where my answers don’t hold good. At GeekTrust, we try and connect developers with opportunities that are just right for them. We validate all opportunities so that only credible, interesting opportunities are on our platform.
End of the day, no one knows can tell us if we will succeed or not. But how will we know unless we give it a shot?