5 Tips on Working for a Virtual StartUp

Nowadays, it’s possible to go to an office address and find that the company you’re looking for doesn’t physically exist there. At all. Technology has enabled the employees of an entire company to work from home. 

Some of these companies are startups that are 100 percent virtual. These companies are great if you hate commuting and love working in your own space. But, as startups, they also have their drawbacks.

Keep these five tips in mind if you’re thinking of working for a 100% remote startup company. These tips can improve your success at working for such a company in the long term.

1 Believe in the mission and vision

Look into the company’s mission and vision before you go to your job interview. The company’s goals should completely line up with yours. Of course, you want to work for a company with a purpose you believe in. With a startup, it is even more crucial that you aren’t working for the paycheque. Here’s why.

Startups are start-ups. The journey can be bumpy as the company experiences growing pains. Roles for each person may constantly change. Policies and procedures may frequently update as the company tries to determine what works and what doesn’t. Even the company’s products and services may change as it adjusts to become a better fit for its ideal customers. 

If the company’s goals are goals you fully support, it makes the constant shifting and adjusting easier to bear.

2 Be flexible and open to change

If you’re going to work for a startup, you absolutely must embrace change. As the company grows at a rapid pace, more people will join the team. Roles and responsibilities will shift. You may find yourself working with more team members or find yourself managing a team. You may have more tasks on your to-do list. Or you may have fewer, more specialized tasks as your role becomes more defined.

Procedures may also improve and change over time as the company experiments with different types of software. Instead of tracking your hours on a simple spreadsheet or table, you now need to learn to use customer management software (CRM software) such as Salesforce. Instead of casually mentioning in a chat that you finished a task, you’ll need to write your update in a project management tool, such as Trello, Asana, or Click Up.

3 Take initiative

A startup company is still figuring out many things. Just picture a company that is settling into its office on moving day. Office equipment and office furniture are everywhere as people try to figure out where everyone will sit and what will go in each room.

Some startups don’t have a human resources (HR) department or a clear line of authority. In these cases, you may need to be more assertive than you’re comfortable with. For example, if the person you report to is disrespectful to you, you’ll need to figure out who you could talk to about your boss. Similarly, without an HR, you won’t have someone to speak to about disrespectful treatment by a coworker. You will also have to take initiative about getting a raise because the company is still figuring out what the pay raises, bonuses, and benefits should be.

4 Be prepared to put in extra hours and effort

Working for a startup could mean working extra hours and putting in more effort. Depending on how established the startup is, the company may require you to work longer days to get procedures set up. They may be short staffed, so you’ll find yourself taking on the role of more than one person.

At some companies, they will appreciate the extra effort and reward you with a promotion, such as a change in job title or responsibilities, or better pay. At other companies, particularly those that aren’t well organized, your extra effort will be required but will go unnoticed. They will expect you to work weekends and evenings in addition to regular office hours.  

5 Invest in yourself

If you’re working for a virtual startup, you may feel a bit disconnected, especially if you’re a social extrovert. You may only know the person who brought you into the company after the job interview. You’ll also know the people who you work with regularly. But everyone else will be just a name in a chat group. You don’t get to meet people casually in the hallway or during lunch break. 

The people you work with may not remember to introduce you to key members of the team or remember to show you how to use the software you’ll need. 

It’s up to you to reach out and remind them of your skills if you want a promotion or pay raise. Your supervisor may not remember these details, especially if the team has been growing and your supervisor has changed and there is no HR department. 

Learning new skills is important, especially when it comes to technology. No one from the IT Department is going to knock on your door to help you set up your computer or connect to your internet. If you lose your internet connection or your computer breaks down, you lose your lifeline to your virtual job. 

Key Takeaways

Not all startups are the same. Leadership affects how the company treats its employees. If there is strong leadership, the startup will grow quickly while providing the support that each person needs. People will feel acknowledged and appreciated for their work. If you’re considering working for a virtual startup, be prepared to put in extra effort and be ready for rapid and constant change.

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