After a mere two years in the corporate world my feet were itching and I couldn't have made the jump to the SME world sooner. Since joining Instant Impact this time last year, I've been granted the autonomy, job satisfaction and fast-pace that I was desperately craving and couldn't be enjoying the SME world more. Not only do I work in a small and young team myself (although we're technically passed the start-up age limit), I recruit for start-ups too - and get double the satisfaction from it as a result.
But as much as I love and advocate the start-up world (fully recognising it's not for everyone), I've been wary of the increasing use of the word "start-up" as a mere buzzword associated with office dogs, techy hipsters and beer on tap.
The truth of the matter is far from that. With responsibility, fulfilment and fast-paced work, comes a challenge. Like the article below highlights - there's nowhere to hide in a small team, you have no choice but to muck in, laying down the ground work and doing things that are far from listed in the responsibilities section of your job description. All of this does require a certain mindset - not one that craves beer and puppies - but one that craves challenging and rewarding work. So whilst selling the start-up dream is great, and more and more people are converting - it's important to focus on the reality of the situation, and make sure your next hire isn't just jumping on the band wagon.
So, to quote both Alan Walsh and Simon Sinek, "Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion" - and I'm happy to say it myself, there is nothing more rewarding and engaging than working alongside a group of people who are equally passionate about what you do as you are.
Starting from ground zero is as refreshing as it is daunting, and only the brave or stupid (I’m hoping I'm not the latter) make the jump. You’re constantly looking for the edge, constantly looking for revenue, looking for customers; and budgets? forget about it. There’s nowhere to hide and no one to cover for you. At some points it feels like the Wild West. It’s ‘do or die’ with no safety rope, a real life ‘David and Goliath’ but with more coffee and Apple products! Don’t get me wrong, I've had many amazing experiences and learnt a hell of a lot over my corporate career but this massive change feels right and natural. My advice to anyone thinking about doing the same is simple: if you believe in the proposition and team, JFDI! (Just f**king do it).