These Are The Bad Things That Might Happened While Working in Startups
Previously I wrote an article about how working in a startup benefits me professionally and personally. Now based on other experiences as well as my own, I decided to write some bad things that fresh graduates and career-changers might want to consider, should they want to work in a startup. I present to you the bad scenarios that might happen in startup workplace.
- Getting laid off
Often it was said that to work in a startup means no job security, and you can lose your job anytime. I was laid off because of my division and most of our function was not needed anymore. The company was by no means running out of money, instead they were shifting to another field which do not need that many customer services, resulting in most of the employees (including key persons) getting laid off.
2. Delayed Payroll
Another unfortunate event. One startup failed to paid the employees’ salary on time. I can’t get a clear update for this one but I assume they took a hit in their cash flow. To make it worse, even though the government issued that there are penalty of 5% from total salary to be paid to employees should there is any delay, this does not follow this rule and still paid only the salary and incentives. Later on when they did pay the penalty, the amount paid does not reflect what the government has issued. This case was the sole purpose of which majority of staff decided to leave.
3. Decrease in overall incentive structure
One day after about six month of employment, there was a meeting for my division. It was then revealed that the company would restructure our KPIs and also revised our incentive structure. This new structure in my opinion works against the employees and too company-side, it makes us work harder yet we earned about quarter or half from our previous incentive. Of course, the revised policies did not go well. My colleague starts muttering about it everyday and it results in performance decline.
4. Increased responsibilities, with same salary structure
Still related to number 3. Throughout my entire working experience in startups, I was given a new account to handle, a new task that differ from my job description, a team to coach and direct, even a new market segment to open, but aside the title change, the penny stays the same. No increase whatsoever. This also plays a part where several staff was unhappy, and though our team was solid, some of them were disappointed and leave
5. Denied of promotion
I have the opportunity to advance to operation analyst position back then and the company organised a Microsoft Excel test to get the best candidate. Long story short, I failed the test and the position goes to our senior employee. About 4 months later, my superior who happens to interview me for this position (along with 1 founder, the same guy who told me I was failed) inform me that while I passed the test (actually, the only one who passed the excel test), the board deliberately promoted that senior officer, but make it like a competition so it will not look as if they show preference. So yeah politics and favoritisms in startup does exist, don’t fall for that.
6. Sudden change in responsibility, without a smooth transition
Startup have a fast-paced environment, you need to be ready for anything. Every startups has their own idea about handling that change. I find that my previous company has a rather bad execution of transition. First, we are told that we are pivoting and our business change. Then in the same day the new KPI and targets applied, in the middle of the month. My responsibilities change on the spot, without any time to complete previous business process or say good bye to my partners out there, not even a time to learn the new products as I learn on the go and making small mistakes in the process. I don’t know if that sounds normal, but it was not for me.
7. Harassed by a gay team member
I will not talk this out any further. They exist. Take caution and don’t be afraid to speak up.
Well I think I summed most of the problem I’ve encountered. I hope it helps you when you consider a startup as your working place. I do strongly recommend a startup for fresh graduate, the environment and and the learning curves will provide you with the skills you will find useful later. I am myself will not refuse such opportunities should one arise.
Also I wrote this in accordance of my experience so it does not reflect a startup company in general, and since startups is so fast-paced, I’m sure they already learn their previous mistakes.
Please don’t let my article here discourage you from pursuing a career in startup. A life in startup experience is a life you will proud of, and a life worth remembering.
You can see a handful of positive things that might ticks you to work in startups on my previous article here
Thank you for reading. I hope this article helps, have a great day.