So I have now reached the 3 month mark at my not so new job and passed my probation! It has been wonderful so far and I am learning so much – not regretting moving on from my last place at all now. So I thought I’d give a few points that I have learned from my experience at corporate vs startup.
- Things get done a lot quicker. It used to take months and lots of cross-team communication to try and get a project off the ground, usually with many conflicting opinions about what should be prioritised, timescales etc. Now, we decide on what we want to be designed and developed, with just a quick discussion to decide what is most important, I begin designing and the specifics get confirmed later.
- Job roles cross over a lot more. This is quite an obvious one: teams are smaller, there are less people to do certain jobs. When someone goes off sick, it is now noticeable. I was off sick for almost a month at corporate and everyone managed fine, while if that happened now with no planning, I think chaos would ensue. Someone on my team was off sick for 2 weeks and we learnt from it, but not in the best way. Now, designers in my team get to own more of the process and planning behind a product, so that when someone is off sick, we all have the power to get things moving. This would be something that I think would be extremely beneficial to corporate too, however many ‘higher-ups’ would not approve. But I love having greater visibility of more areas of the team and being able to work on the planning, designing and guiding developers.
- It’s more relaxed than I thought it would be. Now this may not be true for many startups, but everyone gets their work done and goes home. There are no 11pm pizza runs when everyone is working all night long, not on my team anyway. If anyone needs a change of environment or wants to work from home for the day, that’s good too. I had this freedom at corporate, but sometimes it was frowned upon if you left too early or worked off site.
I really prefer the startup ways of working. It’s more agile, you feel more valued and you get to broaden your horizons in work. This was attempted to be achieved within my corporation, but unfortunately failed in the end due to corporate politics. I look forward to learning much more in the future!