You might be wondering if it’s a good time to apply to join a startup. After all, the global pandemic hit hard on most businesses, so how can a startup company survive this economic downturn?
Has any successful business started or been forged in an economic crisis?
Definitely! A couple of the well-known brands in the world started during the economic crisis. For agile startups with an innovative mindset, an economic downturn can come as a “blessing in disguise” and show unexpected opportunities.
Here are a few of the well-known brands you might recognize:
Microsoft started in 1975, a period of high unemployment and overall stagnating GDP in the US. There is no doubt they made it through those challenging times and built itself into the giant tech company we know it to be today.
Airbnb was founded in 2008, which was the year of the great global economic downturn that wrecked the financial markets, banking, and real estate industries. The innovative idea of renting out a mattress in a San Francisco apartment skyrocketed during the recession. Airbnb received big-name investments and had over 10 000 users by March 2009.
Although Zoom was founded in 2011, more than one year after the 2009 recession, some economists say 2011 was the weakest recovery since the Great Depression. Zoom achieved $1 billion in private investment and the unicorn recognition in 2017, and they went public in 2019. As you might have heard, Zoom exploded exponentially during the global pandemic, when it gained 190 million users in March 2020.
There are plenty of other great examples where brands either started or were forged during a crisis. Without a doubt, recessions are followed by many problems and obstacles. Still, it’s also true that innovation is driven by necessity. The current pandemic has brought many obstacles, but some businesses are emerging with great innovations driven by this necessity.
Should you start working for a startup?
Working for a startup brings its own set of challenges and unexpected sets of opportunities. Some people can say that working for startups can be addictive, rewarding, and at the same time frustrating and confusing.
Can you work in uncertainty?
If you’re a person who loves the idea of freedom and you’re not afraid of some uncertainty, then a startup will not let you down. You also need to consider at what stage and position you’re joining a startup.
You will need to embrace a level of uncertainty and be proactive in initiating activities that can scale. You probably won’t always be sure what needs to be done to succeed, and here come the active experiments to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Be part of the emerging culture
When you start working for a startup, let’s say a startup with around 10 people, you will get to experience something that is just not possible in larger corporations. Yes, I’m talking about the company’s culture. The initial team, formed by a few people, is the one that establishes the culture.
As you might have expected, it’s different to work in a small team that covers the whole company rather than working in one department of a larger organization.
Join a startup through a recruitment agency
There is a lot to think about before joining a startup, and the research behind it can be endless. One of the solutions for you is to see if there is a recruitment agency hiring on behalf of startups.
When getting to an interview with a recruiter from an agency, you will get the possibility to ask questions that might be uncomfortable to ask a manager directly from a hiring startup. You will get to know the startup from a cultural perspective and prepare yourself on what to expect.
After all, it’s the recruiter’s job to make sure you are the right fit for the position and that the startup is the right fit for you.
Below you can read some of our suggestions of thriving industries during this pandemic.
Startup industries you can look out for
Before joining any startup, you should find out which industries are performing better during the crisis and which are getting hit the hardest.
Online sales and retail
Startups operating in online retailing grew a lot faster during the pandemic. This is because almost all shopping can be done only digitally, so there is a higher chance of increasing audiences that can find your e-shop.
Digital solutions for companies
Companies developing work-related solutions, such as Zoom, gained their momentum during this crisis. As we mentioned before, Zoom’s large-scale growth was measured in the early stages of the pandemic, when all businesses had to move into a digital workspace.
Online tutoring is another option to consider. With an overall high number of layoffs and increased numbers of raising problems to maintain business, people turn towards education. Companies and entrepreneurs that offer online tutoring and online courses saw an increased demand for those services.
Companies providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) were able to adapt much faster in remote working since the beginning of 2020. Many SaaS companies thrived during the pandemic, mainly those who operate within commerce and communications.
Does it make sense to join a startup during a pandemic?
Definitely! Many startups have an innovative mindset and are agile enough to navigate themselves through a crisis. There is no guarantee if the one you’ll join ends up being the unicorn startup. Still, you will get to experience a work environment on a whole different level. Be smart about choosing the industry during the crisis and get to work for a startup where you can see your future!
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