With the end of the year hurtling towards us, many of you will be thinking about next year and potentially looking for a new job. Many of you will want to try something different and that may well be in the form of a new and exciting organisation – or startup, as trendy people like to call new businesses these days! There are many pros and cons when it comes to working for any new organisation, particularly when you are part of the initial setup. Working for a startup can be a real challenge, but for assistants it can also bring lots of rewards. Do you want to work for a start up? This is what you need to know!
Be prepared to muck in
This is the first thing that assistants who work at startups tell me. You think your role is varied? Well, if you do want to work at a startup be prepared to take on all manner of tasks, potentially without much reward or recognition. In the early days of a business so much needs to be accomplished at a tremendously fast pace so do expect to be given lots of different jobs (many of which will not be glamourous), work longer and nontraditional hours and generally muck in.
If you are assistant to the founder of the startup, remember that they will be under enormous pressure to succeed. They will have investors to answer to while trying to secure clients, manage staff and spearhead the business. As their assistant you will need to be incredibly supportive and on top of that they may not have had an assistant before, so you might have to show them what exactly you can do!
Be prepared for changes
Having set up my own business I can honestly say that change has been the only consistent thing over the last few years. Ideas are tested, products come and go, staff turn around is pretty quick, if something doesn’t work it quickly becomes obsolete. In other words, if you are not too keen on change, perhaps a startup is not quite the right environment for you. But, if you thrive on the unexpected and are a little bored with the usual corporate way of doing things, then a startup might be right up your street. In my experience it is often the assistant that has to manage changes within organisations. For example, if an Executive wants to change a process they tend to involve their assistant in the project, sometimes without realising it because colleagues will often ask assistants what is going on rather than the Executive! We are great at managing change and this can be really useful in a startup environment.
Be prepared for it not to last
According to Forbes, 90% of startups fail, so do be prepared for your job in a new startup not to last. It is a pretty negative way to start a new job, but you do have to go in with your eyes open. It is a leap of faith and one that may take you on an extraordinary journey or one that will leave you looking for another role within a year or two. If you are contemplating joining a startup, the questions that you ask during your interview will be really important. Make sure you get a sense that the business is going places and that you believe in the founders’ vision.
Be prepared for success
Startups do not have the same level of bureaucracy that other more established businesses have so the chances of an assistant being able to quickly move up the corporate ladder are pretty high. The hours are long, the pace is fast and the culture might be completely different. But, if you work hard and the startup succeeds, you will too, and that could well be a risk worth taking!
If you are thinking about changing your current job, we have a free eBook that will help you prepare for the perfect PA interview.
The Practically Perfect PA Guide to: Preparing for the perfect job
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A word from our sponsor
The Career Moves Office Support Team are thrilled to be the main sponsor for the Practically Perfect PA E-book and the Assist Conference 2017. The Office Support Team has more than 25 years’ experience working with highly experienced administrative professionals. Our network of clients ranges from startups and SME’s, to global tech and media brands. We also work with a number of high-net worth individuals looking for a private or business PA.
Roles that we regularly recruit for include: executive assistants, personal assistants, team administrators, receptionists, operations managers and facilities managers.
Please get in touch with a member of the team for a confidential conversation and see how we can help you find your perfect role.