Why working at a startup rocks

When I was a teenager I used to read my mother’s magazines. Those magazines were published by one of the top publishers in Ukraine. Back in the day I couldn’t even imagine that someday I would be a part of this huge publisher family.

To be honest, I was on cloud nine, when I joined them. My career path had begun as an advertising department assistant, and just in a few months, I climbed up to be a project manager. Dreams don’t work unless you do. It took me 4 years to reach the point of burnout.
Back then I thought that it’s nothing special, I was tired, nothing more. My burnout was triggered by many factors, including workload, lack of control, dissatisfaction and a toxic environment. I felt exhausted, detached, cynical and unproductive. All this led to dramatic consequences for my life – I had to leave the business. So I did.

Now I work remotely for a startup. You ask me why? How could I quit the company of my dreams? That being said, every cloud has a silver lining. The startup has changed me, developed my skills and gave me more freedom.

I became more responsible – not only for success but also for failure.

Being at a big organization I felt like a tiny fish in a giant fishbowl. It is easier to get lost in the crowd and avoid responsibility when you are dependent on others and stuck in a chain of bureaucracy. The worst thing is that over time you get used to this state of affairs and don’t even notice them anymore.
Startup environment shows me, that not only my successes but also failures are noticeable. My learning, my growth, career, ability to learn – everything depends on how hard I work, take responsibilities and face consequences for both, ups and downs.

I got to wear more hats.

I’m able to switch to another job and take on a different skill set without leaving my desk. Because of my raring to know more and support my team, I challenge myself every day. This job forced me to develop new skills and knowledge, to be flexible and process-focused when needed. In a startup environment, I volunteer to cover more roles outside a narrowly-defined job description. One day I can work as an HR manager, the next as an event manager or team assistant. Now I’m able to do different things with more freedom and demonstrate my creativity and intelligence in various ways. With less bureaucracy, it is much easier to introduce change, offer something new that can help my company grow and lead to a more efficiency.

Now I’m familiar with the sense of ownership and the feeling of “we’re all in this together”.

With Cloudwharf I found my home, a simple and clear hierarchy where I get to work closer with my team on a much more personal level. There are no hoops to jump through. Being able to speak directly to the CEO or my team about ideas and problems results in much faster growth for everyone. What may take weeks for approval at a big company, will take knocking on your boss’s door or having a call with him via Skype at a startup. It helps you see the bigger picture and also gain a great sense of ownership for whatever small work you are doing.

running in a wheel together

PS: One way to live your best life is to do the kind of work you love. However, if you feel stuck in a job, don’t be afraid to make a change and relieve yourself from the golden handcuffs.

By Marina Polovka

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