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Does your career need a spell at a start-up?

Have you ever considered working for a start-up?  Some opportunities to jump into an early stage company might not be as risky as you first think and might just be what you need to experience…

The place we reach in our minds where we consider new job opportunities is usually sparked by hitting a point in your career when you’ve considered a number of factors and it’s often the negatives about your current situation that stack up and tip us over the edge.

We have all done it – hit that tipping point.

Whether it’s an apparent ‘glass ceiling’ preventing us from getting the next challenge in our current company, lack of faith in un-competitive products borne form a lack of investment, a non-existent pay increase that keeps getting put on ‘the back burner’, uninspiring working environments, bad incentives like capped commission schemes, or a lack of belief installed in you by your boss.  There are countless reasons why we might consider exploring the job market.

But what can we do to reverse these negatives without unwittingly falling into another similar situation with a new employer?

Once nothing else can be done to positively effect the current circumstances and you have decided that the time is right to change roles, the decision of what to do next is key to affecting change and the answer lies in exploration of opportunities with companies at a different stage of life, not just the obvious ones with direct competitors.  Talk to people in the industry about exciting new companies entering the market, their new technologies and the ways in which these new solutions are being embraced.  A new lease of life in a start-up could be the answer.

It is important to look at this process as a ‘career exploration’ and not a ‘job hunt’, to allow for proper consideration to what is most essential in the scheme of things.  Quite often things can be categorised unfairly and dismissed without consideration so allow yourself to explore avenues that you might have previously dismissed.  Without this analytical approach how can we see all the options available and make an informed decision?

The term ‘start-up’ has connotations of high risk to most of us when thinking of career moves and this may prove to be true in some senses for obvious reasons, but perhaps this is just what you need?

Each opportunity can be assessed for the level of risk.  In some cases you might discover that the investors have a history of many come-and-go ventures which you consider too risky.  In other instances it may be apparent that some ventures are often well-supported by their VC, or perhaps it’s a solid looking private equity backer.

The benefits of switching to working in a less process driven and structured environment could be just what your career needs.  And the chance to test yourself in a different setting, with added responsibilities and the ability to make a real difference could be the making of you.

Whichever route you decide on in the end, you should benefit from being open-minded.  And in the grand scheme of things, YOU might be just what the start-up needs to be a real success.

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