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Transitioning from a Multinational Corporation to a Startup: Understanding the Implications of the Leap



I’ve heard this a few times when I broke the news that I was leaving my previous company to join a (series C) startup.


While there have been a lot of romanticized notions of working for a startup, understandable there have also been perceptions of immense hard work and long hours.


I held my own opinions of what it would be like working for a startup, some of which admittedly misguided, but not in what you’d think it is. Being ‘one of those’ who made the jump, I’d like to share if such transitions are really hyped up to be what they are.


1. “Goodbye to having a life”


The most common words of a deterrent I’ve heard. No founder I’ve known works marathon 18 hours days, 7 days a week- the notion people build the assumption on that working for a startup will give you no life.


Founders, including my boss, don’t work such ‘punishing’ hours. Rather, I think it is more appropriate to say that they live and breathe what they do and that it comes through not just in emails or company memos but also conversations and observations.


Similarly, as an employee, I don’t watch the clock either when I am doing what I love. Inspiration and the ‘call of duty’ strike when it does, and you simply get down to it. Even if it’s past 6 pm …or 10 pm.


It definitely is not the separation of work and personal life, rather the integration of the two – and that can’t be quantified by hours nor is it confined to the walls of an office.


2. “You’re going to get a major culture shock”


Maybe it’s because I’ve joined companies that weren’t so ‘stiff’, Visenze’s more casual and flexible culture and structures weren’t so much of a shock to me than say someone from a Big 4. Flip-flops or sneakers to work? Sure. Not having an army of executives to help you run the show? Okay.


Also Read: 6 strategies to reduce your e-commerce startup expenses


There is a lot of autonomy and fluidity, and how you adapt and thrive really depends on your working style and agility. This would come hand in hand on what was presented during the recruitment cycle- what was communicated realistically of the company’s culture and what you expect. If those two are aligned, you shouldn’t be in for (too much) of a shock.


But if you do, I hope it’s a good shock.


3. “Joining a startup is risky”


The statement above is often accompanied by “You’re giving up working for an established company for an unknown?”. I think joining ANY new job is a gamble or a risk you take. Whether calculated or reckless.


We have seen startups launch and crash, but we have also seen big companies doing massive layoffs or going bankrupt. Yes, most startups don’t have the deep pockets that MNCs have. But that’s when your depth of belief in the company and it’s purpose makes up for it.


Obviously, before you join any company, you make your own assessment on the success rate of that company or the role. Anything is a risk or a gamble, you just go with the one that yields the rewards (monetary and/or experience) that drive you.


4. “Oh wow, so cool you’re joining a startup”


Pantries with endless food, cool and fun perks, pool tables, PlayStation…etc. Funnily, Visenze checks the box on all! But those are not what makes the company cool, or in my opinion, any startup cool. Do you know what I think is cool?


The technology that the Visenze has built, our purpose and mission, the culture, and the crazy s**t that I get to do. Those are what are cool. After all, I’m nowhere good at playing pool.


Also Read: How startups should approach public relations


Transitioning from an MNC to a startup? Is it all that different or is it not? It is as different from one MNC to another, or one startup to another. I realized that ‘startup’ is not so much your physical office space or the company.


‘Startup’ is a mindset. You don’t have to be in a startup. Sometimes you could be in a very big company but go about your work with a startup mindset, or some would say ‘entrepreneurial spirit’.


So if you are making a transition or vice versa, remember that it’s also about your mindset, what drives you and what you want. If you can’t figure those out, you’ll be in for a shock no matter where you go.



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Image Credit: Slidebean


This article was first published on October 29, 2019


The post Moving from an MNC to a startup, what the leap really means appeared first on e27.


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