Startups could possibly unlock your greatest potential
There has been a sharp increase in the numbers of startups across Asia and Malaysia, as the younger generation is bursting with crazy ideas in terms of new business models and improvisation of existing businesses.
Many still wind up looking for job opportunities offered by established multinational corporations, government-linked corporations and conventional companies despite the many layers of management structure and bureaucratic models that might be capping the talents offered by Gen Y.
Also Read: Confessions of a startup job hopper
Though it may be true that the younger talents have much to learn from mature business entities and managers, we still have to admit the fact that Gen Y is looking for something different in their career paths.
Developed markets and emerging markets are embracing startups and entrepreneurs even more these days, because of the significant changes they can bring to the economy, community, country and even the world. Look at Google Inc and Facebook Inc, these are among the top ten most appreciated brands in the world today.
Before they got where they are today, the founders discovered one of the crucial factors they needed to focus on is employees’ satisfaction and engagement in the company. By offering all types of remuneration and employee benefits, these companies do whatever they can to retain the best talents they have.
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There has been an on-going argument between baby boomers and Gen Y on the issue of work attitude where it has led to numerous differences between the generations such as flexibility in working structure and also the number of working hours. While this is expected to continue at least for another decade, let’s look at some of the reasons why you should be working in a startup instead.
1. Higher engagement between management and employees
According to Australia ClearingHouse For Youth Studies, the term ‘entrepreneurship’ covers a wide range of activities. While in its most literal meaning, an entrepreneur can be anyone who operates a business, the term typically refers to the work of developing businesses that are distinguished by innovation in the business model adopted, by a higher level of risk associated with that innovation (especially with regard to the creation of new markets) and by the entrepreneur(s) retaining a significant level of control over the creation of the new business.
This deals with two forms of entrepreneurship – startups and social enterprises – chosen for their potential impact on youth employment. Requiring more effort and ideas from the team; the founders or management team are often more open towards seeking opinions from subordinates regardless of rankings and position.
The study also shows that young firms often hire younger employees, which indicates better communication between both parties in terms of work performance and carrying out each person’s respective roles.
2. Employees feel more empowered and gain recognition
With more engagement in the team, employees will get to participate in more tasks and projects given they are not afraid to ask for it. Nonetheless, the thinner gap between leaders and employees builds higher trust between each other which offers a healthy working environment.
By delegating more decision-making roles to their employees, they can learn management and entrepreneur skills for their own self-development as well.
Another study by the Asian Institute of Finance shows those when people feel enriched with opportunities provided to them to grow professionally and personally, they become more productive, are more motivated, and are more likely to stay with the organisation.
In a startup, the likelihood of your contribution getting recognised is possibly higher than working in established corporations considering the transparency in the working environment. However, the catch is that the company must learn how to make good use of the niche skills of their employees to ensure continuous development.
3. Encourages critical thinking skills
Instead of completing tasks that are based on standard operating procedures, you can learn to develop better or smarter ways to complete certain tasks in the company. Remember, Gen Y is the revolutionary generation that utilises innovation and creativity to bring positive impact by solving problems, increase efficiency and effectiveness and also create value.
One of the weaknesses in Southeast Asia’s education system is the lack of emphasis on critical thinking. In startups, there are many unforeseen circumstances and risks involved along the way before it can truly achieve maturity as a business. Thus, it is vital for both entrepreneurs and employees to develop risk management and critical thinking skills to anticipate, analyse and overcome obstacles.
4. Less red tape but more self-discipline
Though most startups are all about offering work flexibility and a casual working environment, these employees are highly trained to work independently with high levels of self-discipline to ensure their performance stays on track.
Compared with big companies compiled with vertical management structure, many young firms rather minimise the level of bureaucracy in their management structure to encourage better communication and transparency. In a startup, it is all about delivering your work on time – how you do it is solely up to you.
5. Higher exposure and more responsibilities
With a smaller team or company, it is very highly that each employee will be carrying at least two roles in the company which means they have to learn to multitask. Though time management and juggling multiple workloads can be stressful, this is when you can learn to pick up skills you may never have the opportunity to do so in established firms.
Also Read: 5 vague yet highly inspiring strategies you can use for your next startup celebrity speech
In the study done by the Asian Institute of Finance, the top three priorities for Gen Y professionals in the workplace are doing challenging and interesting work, independence at work and teamwork.
Hands-on learning from the job is even more subtle in the startups compared with established firms and this will eventually push the employees to widen their skills and improve their portfolio. So the question at the end of the day is: will you walk the career path others have set before you, or will you define the boundaries of your career by yourself?
The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here .
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