Pros and Cons of Working for a Startup

WinMax Blog Team

21 August 2020

Over the past few years, startups have become exceedingly popular for many entrepreneurs. Research shows that in 2018 alone, every month, 543,000 new businesses were being opened. When a startup is running well, it can be a lucrative endeavor and has the potential to turn into something bigger.

Many small businesses show that employees stay with them for a minimum of 4 years, so it looks like they must be doing something right. Most notably, younger generations, such as Generation X and Y, are known to thrive in startups.

If you’re thinking of working for a startup, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons beforehand. The following are some pros and cons that you should consider:

The Pros of Working for a Startup

Many people are keen to join startups because of the following prominent advantages that they can enjoy:

A Learning Experience

When working at a startup, you will see that they place a lot of responsibility upon their employees. The hiring process is influenced by budget constraints. Startups usually hire fewer people and expect more to be done by them. People who can wear multiple hats and deliver results are a core priority. Due to this, the skills you bring to the table will be exercised a lot. You will also learn a lot of things on the job.

Many people are able to apply their current skills and learn new ones in a startup environment because you work with skilled entrepreneurs. With no limitations on learning, you can actually pick up tangible skills, exercise your current ones, and discover your specialty in a particular area.

Creativity is Rewarded

At startups, the ability to think out-of-the-box is highly prized. Innovation and creativity are looked upon as a necessary requirement because startups always have to be one step ahead of the competition. Coming up with dynamic solutions to meet customer needs and wants is necessary.

Additionally, there is a need to capture consumer interest and create new concepts and designs. Many startups have been able to create waves by their innovative approach to industry problems and have been able to stand out from the crowd.

Ability to Work Unfettered

With startups, micromanaging is not a possibility at all, and employees are given the responsibility to work on projects as they see fit. Many startups function on a result-based approach. This means that as long as you get the results they want, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t work in the traditional manner.

The freedom to work as they want also introduces a degree of flexibilityin work hours. There’s also more room for trial and error because testing and checking every option available is an approach that many startups adopt.

A lot of Employee Perks

One of the biggest reasons that people want to work at startups is because of the perks they have to offer. Startups also have a healthier corporate culture than most traditional businesses. Moreover, some of the perks offered include the following:


The biggest perk is the stock options – opportunity to make it big if the company goes public or is bought over by a large corporation.


Flexibility in work procedures


Ability to work from home


Focus on employee happiness


Employee services and discounts


Even Free food in some cases.

As more and more employees consider these benefits, startups can attract skilled employees by offering quality perks that they may not get in other places. This aspect also improves employee retention.

The Cons of Working for a Startup

Startups are known for having the ideal work environment, but it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. The following are some significant disadvantages of working for a startup:

Heavy Workloads

One of the significant issues with startups is that the starting team can be small, which means that the workloads are heavy. Many startups don’t confine themselves to regular working hours. It is extremely common for employees to pull 12-hour (or longer) shifts to meet deadlines, as well as fewer vacation times or holidays.

Since startups have to work at such a fast rate, the environment can be rather stressful and contribute to burnout in a person as well. Additionally, this also eats up the flexibility factor because, for startups, it is necessary to be flexible to meet their challenging and heavy workloads.

Poor Job Stability

Around 90% of all startups do not make it past their third birthday. Startups are incredibly vulnerable during their first few years, and small mistakes can end up crippling the business. From a poor cash flow structure to a poor team, all of these factors can contribute to the startup failing.

This means that employees cannot expect to have healthy job stability and may be out of a job within a year or two. This can mean that they have to be on the lookout for warning signs and move on quickly. With startups, it can be hard to predict whether it will be a success or not, so this area can create general hesitation.

No Defined Structure
Work Harder text

With most jobs, the job description is a firm indicator of what the person’s responsibilities are going to be. However, with startups, a job title and description can lose meaning. Since the team is small and there’s so much that needs to be done, a graphic designer may be expected to write content as well and vice versa.

Due to the overlap in job responsibilities, it can mean that one employee is responsible for a lot of different things. It is common to see that there is a one-person department in startups until they have the finances to grow and hire more people.


Working for a startup can be an extremely lucrative opportunity for many people, but it does have its pros and cons. For many people, the startup environment is too fast-paced, high energy, and high stress for them to enjoy their work, but for others, it can be the perfect place to learn and grow.

If you’re thinking of joining a startup, always consider the pros and cons to avoid any issues in the future. To learn more about working for startups, get in touch with our recruiting specialists at WinMax Systems Corporation. You can give us a call at 408 894 9000 or email us at

WinMax Blog Team

Founded in 2005, WinMax is an IT recruiting firm that specializes in connecting the best talents from the tech world to the right organization. As technology recruiters, we can help you find the right IT personnel possessing the skills, expertise, and values that reflect your organizational needs and goals.


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