My journey: Corporate or Startup
Mar 31, 2019
Farah Henley

Have you ever wondered how different your career path has turned out to be compared to what you expected? Have you ever asked yourself how much has your environment, network and change of priorities impacted your career aspirations? What are some of the risks you took in your career? And what is stopping you from taking more risks? Asking these questions from coworkers and friends often leads to very interesting conversations. In this article I will share the pros and cons of joining a startup from a big corporation and some tips to make the transition smooth.

Crossing over

It has only been a month since I left my position at Royal Bank and decided to join Xodiac Inc. Since I have only worked in large corporations all my career, joining a small start up was considered a big risk and I didn’t have a detailed picture of what to expect. Executing a set of pre-defined structured tasks is considered, by some, to be the advantage of working in big corporations. But it can also limit the innovative and creative ideas outside of the generally narrow vision of the management within that organization. In addition, continuously communicating the message of organizational direction and values down the hierarchy and keeping it accurate can become challenging within corporations. Hence the organizational version of broken telephone can potentially cause micromanagement and create an environment in which controlling every decision and discussion within the team would seem normal.

A startup’s flat organizational structure makes it easier for all ideas to be heard. Here in Xodiac, we have implemented a safety culture where all potential can be unleashed. It’s easier to fully understand the organizational direction based on frequent feedback from our customers. More importantly giving members a wide range of responsibilities within every aspect of organization, can help everyone to learn new skills in running the business and grow as they desire. Altogether this creates a safetynet, allowing employees to experiment without causing harm to the organization. However, one of the biggest challenges in transitioning from corporate to start up could be prioritizing the deliveries and focus of your daily tasks. This can cause a bit of frustration during on boarding process due to enormous amount of learning at the beginning. Members build their own tasks and responsibilities based on their skills and interests and how they would like to contribute to the growth of the organization.

Overall there is no right or wrong career decisions in my opinion and the true value of your career comes from the sense of fulfillment. I am loving the new challenges that being a part of small company brings and I learn new things everyday. It is also important to mention that this article is limited to my experience and I hope it helps you make decisions based on your specific situation.