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Posted under: Business Technology

5 Key things to consider if you want to join a startup

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Startups are popping up on the scene faster than you can say crowdsourcing. Being part of one can definitely be alluring. If you're fortunate to get an offer to join or help build one, here are some factors to consider before joining:

You have the opportunity to make a huge impact.

As stated in "So you think you want to be an entrepreneur," starting a business usually revolves around wanting to solve a problem in the world or make it better. Those who join strongly believe in that mission and want to leave their mark. It's an opportunity to take part in a movement or to see a better product in the market.

Wear many hats

Depending on how early you join a startup, you might have the chance to operate in different functions from engineering, finance, operations, product, etc. This will provide you with crucial life experience, and as the company grows, it will provide you with a larger foundation to handle multiple roles.

Financial risk & reward

Many startups you join offer stock as an incentive, meaning that you're a part-owner and have a stake in the company. These can vest over a four-year period, so you will not receive it all at once. But there can be the potential for a large financial upside. With everything that goes up, there's a chance it could go down as well, so it might be wise to ensure you have backup funds or at least a cushion of savings to fall back on in case things don’t pan out.

Visibility

When a company starts off the ground it’s crucial to make decisions as a group, and this can’t be done without a level of transparency. This means access to operating costs, engineering roadmaps, product decisions, hiring targets, data, etc. Having this level of visibility will allow you to be more vocal, but at the same time will mean a large array of information to process.

Time

Working at a startup is like getting a new pet: It’s an all-in investment where you need to spend time and commit to the vision. This can mean longer hours and weekends on your laptop. If you’re invested enough in the product, this will be exciting — not a chore. Startups are having a moment right now, and it’s an exciting time to jump on the bandwagon if it's right for you. It’s important to weigh out what you’re looking for in a way that's similar to how you chose your college. To learn more about various types of startups, I recommend checking out 500 Startups and Startup Times.

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