Fresh out of university, with the goal of making ends meet monthly, I find myself in a startup and not in a corporate office. I can’t say I’m surprised, the allure of working in a startup and the attraction towards “startup culture” stems from my inherent interests in technology and gaming. Not to mention that I’ve never been one to try and climb the corporate or academic ladder. Politics and drama were aplenty in my university life!
I’ve now been with Supercharge Lab for four months and can confidently say that the startup life is for me. The excitement and pressure of being the only person working on a project and the eventuality of seeing it come to life is super rewarding to me. The knowledge that something works because I made it work will always beat out pushing through the layers of red tape in a corporate office to get something approved. Where in a corporate setting, if it’s not broken, don’t try to think of another way to do it. Innovation means more to me than just accepting the status quo.
So how does one define startup culture? Is it having a cat in the office or sitting on beanbags and discussing ideas? Sure, tangible experiences can be used to define it but what about a deeper level of definition? While working at Supercharge Lab, I’ve learnt that startup culture means more than just the tangible experiences people think of when thinking of a startup. It is more focused on a startup’s values and their mission. At every turn and decision making opportunity, I am reminded to “raise the bar” and to “strive for excellence”. Don’t accept the reason of just because something works, don’t change it. I should try my very best to make it work better or more efficiently. Everyone at Supercharge Lab shares these values and collectively we’re all trying to raise the bar as high as it can go. It doesn’t matter if a Junior Supercharger like myself or one of my seniors is involved, everyone is striving to push the boundary of excellence. That to me is what startup culture is all about.
I’ve been asked by my peers who went on from university life into corporate jobs, “What’s it like to work for a startup? Especially now during a pandemic when most people are working from home? Do you miss the human aspect of working life, like going out for lunch with your co-workers?”. To which I will always answer, “It’s awesome”. Being thrown straight into the deep end, proving my worth and always pressing forward will most probably be the fondest memories I will have of starting my working life in a startup.
Not everyone has the capability for a swim or sink attitude when it comes to work and understandably so, it can be very intimidating. However, if you are like me and this proverbial ocean of startups is where you thrive, it’s most likely the fastest way to grow your skillset and resume. Being in a small team requires me to wear many hats while still being able to bring something to the table. Being an introverted individual, not being able to go out for my lunch break with my co-workers is totally fine by me. But with that said, because startups are initially small by nature, everyone on the Supercharge Lab team has grown close. In this digital age, it’s hard to feel disconnected with your co-workers. Our weekly team meetings here at Supercharge Lab bring me a sense of comfort that I’m with the right people and this is the right job for me.