Lessons learned while working at a startup (or smart-up, as I call it)

Written by Niki Matthaiou

Not the usual HR person, Niki is always intrigued by the latest trends and her goal is to enrich our industry by raising the bar amongst us, enabling other professionals to shine bright!

It is only a month since I joined an IT startup as a HR Manager and I feel like I have been working here for ages! Don’t get it wrong; it is just because it feels like home! Like all my professional steps so far were supposed to get me to this point..


Yes, I love my job! And I truly enjoy working for a startup! Check below why:


  1. Saying Thank You!


Working at a start-up is cool because it usually means there is just a small group of people, just a few employees. Usually, you can count them using only one hand! It is common in such small groups to better recognize and appreciate each other’s’ work. It is easier to identify the good job done! And of course, it is easier to say thank you!


  1. Growth, growth, growth!


This is the ultimate goal of every startup: to grow; to expand. And along with the company, the employees are growing too. You get to have the chance of growing into something amazing and most of the times, you do not need to wait for a particular period of time. Let’s think of how big companies work: there are policies set where an employee needs to remain at his/her current role for the X amount of time until he/she will be eligible to receive a promotion. Sounds familiar? Well, startups are nothing like that! You get the chance to be promoted or move to a different team whenever you are worth to do so!


  1. Being positive!


In a startup, you get to try new things quite often. And if you go by the rule, you will fail. You are expected to fail. It is like a QA Engineer’s job: you need to find your flaws again and again until you can present the best quality of your work! In order to achieve that, you just need to have a good vibe and you will get there. Failing is not such a big thing when working at a startup. If you can avoid negativity and stay focused, you will eventually get to the desired result.


  1. Chaos – it can be managed!


Usually, there are a lot of processes and procedures that need to be done from scratch. And trust me when I say… it is not easy! But it is well manageable.  All you need to do is get ready: organize and prioritize your tasks, use loads of notebooks and post-its, research and ask. And when that is done, ask more questions to even more people! And re-do everything up to the point that you will see the end result.


  1. I believe I can fly….


No, really.. I believe in the company’s vision. I believed on the product since the very first moment I discussed with the CEO and truth be told, I wish I could have come with that brilliant idea! If you are a person who thinks outside of the box, if you believe that big things can happen, then maybe you should also consider joining a startup! Or a smart-up J

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