The startup scene is booming at the moment. Companies like Facebook and Google have glamorised startup culture and these days, the “next big company” is nearly always a startup. Most people think startups are full of hip twenty-somethings lounging around colourful, gimmicky offices, playing table tennis, writing code, and discussing techy-sounding marketing terms. Admittedly this is a pretty accurate picture of what a startup actually looks like, but there’s a lot more involved if you want to succeed at a startup.
For recent graduates, working in a startup can be a bit of a rude awakening – no one will hold your hand or micro-manage you and, if you’re not willing to put in the work, you might well fail.
I work for carwow, a rapidly-growing startup based in London. In the six months since I started, we’ve grown from a team of seven to 19 and seen a 150% increase in revenue. We’re still very much in the startup phase, though, which means rapid growth and facing new challenges daily. Things move at a frenetic, dizzying pace and everyone is expected to pitch in to meet deadlines. To succeed at a startup, you’ll need to be proactive, able to work independently, and willing to be a jack-of-all-trades. Work ethic is valued over years of experience and innovative solutions over traditional fixes. You’ll learn new skills daily, on the fly, and have to learn to adapt constantly.