13th March 2020
13th March 2020
By Sajel Mistry at ContractPodAi
“Scaleups are the drivers of innovation.”
With a brand-new idea and a strong, personal drive, countless innovators have brought their unique vision to life by creating an exciting scaleup. The company could begin as something small – like the idea, itself. Yet, with the right team and plan in place, it can grow into a successful global corporation.
For the past six months, I have worked at a scaleup in downtown Toronto. Here, I have watched the team grow and the company undergo changes, boasting achievements every single day. Simply put, to working at a scaleup, let alone any number of scaleups, is an ongoing learning experience.
Many people, of course, have their perceptions, assumptions, and opinions about what it is like to be a part of a scaleup. Maybe you're planning on joining or starting one yourself, or merely interested in the scaleup environment. Either way, here are a few observations that will help you to understand life in this particularly fast lane, as well as the basic differences between being a part of a smaller company and being a part of a corporation.
Among a large number of corporations, organizations, and agencies, there is always competition. Scaleups can fall behind due to a lack of funding, employees - and those all-too-important connections. But these early-stage enterprises create employment possibilities and economic growth, not to mention opportunities for investors. Scaleups are creative, innovative, and full of surprises, inspiring other entrepreneurs to launch their very own.
Transitioning from working in a large corporation, with hundreds of employees, to working at a scaleup, in a much smaller setting, can seem like a big jump. There are many things to which to adjust. It starts with the differences in your typical workday. You may sense a lack of process and routine, for example. This can be true given that the first few months and years are trial and error for the company until it finds business models that work best. But just how everyone has to begin somewhere in life, so do scaleups! And being able to witness a company grow aggressively from the very beginning is incredibly rewarding.
A scaleup is definitely a place where you need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and pitch in! Whenever there are few people working at a new company, everyone has extra responsibilities. Essentially, each individual wears different hats, performing functions of other jobs that haven’t been filled yet. They perform a variety of tasks to help teams get projects completed on time. It can make every workday busy yet exciting. It can make your work, itself, rather diverse. What's more, it gives you opportunities to learn new skills in fields that you may not have worked in previously. It leads to a feeling of productiveness and a greater sense of ownership of your work. “That’s not part of my job,” is not part of a scaleup employee’s thinking!
Working within a small group also means that there is plenty of teamwork, with everyone helping one another accomplish everyday tasks. As the company grows and succeeds, everyone needs to provide a helping hand. And when they're working as a team in this way, the workplace is much more dynamic, positive, and effectiveness-focused.
With any small team and new work environment, the company’s culture will be undefined at first. Together, though, you can create the culture and overall vibe of the organization over time. After all, you need to get along with each other in the first place in order for the company to succeed in the long-term. The good news is that you learn about everyone’s capabilities and interests rather quickly while working within a tightly-knit group of people.
Remember, as part of a scaleup, you and your fellow team members are working toward the exact same goals. You leverage best practices, which are ever-evolving, for the benefit of the organization as a whole. The transition from a scaleup to an established company is gradual, of course, with fresh ideas coming to pass with each new day.
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