Clearly our participants are thrilled about possibly working for a start-up. Why would working for a start-up be so attractive? Is it for everybody?
First, the concept of the "job description" in the traditional sense is non-existent in a start-up. Typically, everyone needs to be helping in multiple roles. So if you enjoy broad variety of tasks, start-up is your winner!
Second, everybody at start-up is expected to work very hard. Everyone is typically thrilled to be part of the start-up opportunity and therefore folks with 9-5 mentality fit better elsewhere. Principals usually lead by example. Run for the door, if the founders are nowhere to be found after 5pm, yet they demand everyone else working long hours. Such a start-up is not going to last very long.
Third, if you are a risk taker, a start-up is for you. No matter how well funded and well-run a company looks, start-ups are small enough that speed bumps along the way require a certain perseverance to overcome. For example, their funding may look good one month, but a sudden change on the part of the investors or an unexpected business event may suddenly change their financial picture.
While it can be tempting to want to work for a start-up for many, it usually makes sense only for the more adventurous types, given the commitment, dedication and focus it requires. If you prefer in a job a higher level of security as to where the next paycheck is coming from, then a start-up may not be the right choice for you.