Surely a startup is no place for a PA? Oh my dear, you are kindly mistaken!
A wise John D Rockefeller once said ‘don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great’, and in just 13 words there’s your answer as to why fear shouldn’t even be an option from switching from a mundane, traditional, corporate career to an innovative, progressive startup. You see, there’s always this conflict between whether the career change is worth the risk of the challenges you may face, but ‘great things never come from comfort zones’, and trust me it may not always be Chai lattes and games of ping pong, but having the opportunity to be part of creating something truly amazing, well, there’s no better satisfaction (and I would know, I work for one). But, hey, let me quit the babbling, and get down to the five key reasons as to why a startup is the perfect fit for a PA.
- Recognition and Appreciation
There is no denying the endless efforts of PAs and Executive Secretaries when it comes to holding up a business. Literally, without you guys, your boss would crumble and so too would the company. However, it can often feel like an unappreciated job. You are 100% a boss in your own right. Well, this lack of appreciation is something you no longer have to feel when it comes to working in a startup. When you’re working from the ground upwards, every little thing counts. There’s no tree without the seed, and you’ll be that seed to help the business grow and blossom into something truly incredibly. As startups tend to not have many employees, every achievement you make will have a high impact, and will be sure to be recognised, not just by your colleagues, but by senior members of the team too. And, we can all agree that there’s nothing greater than genuinely feeling appreciated and your work openly valued.
2. An Unconventional, but Creative Work Environment
The title says it all ‘unconventional, but creative’. Nine times out of ten you won’t be expected to be overheated in a flimsy blouse and heavy blazer, so say bye to the corporate office look, and opt for something more expressive. So, what are you expected to wear? Whatever makes you feel comfy on the job, as long as it isn’t inappropriate (so that’s a no to the birthday suit then).
But, it’s not just the outfit, the atmosphere is completely different too. Everyone working in a startup is driven by passion and creative innovation, you’ll be surrounded by people who all have the same vision as you. Your colleagues are no longer your competitors, rather your family. A small, tight-knit team ensures a (somewhat strange, and extremely personal) bond like no other.
And, if you’re used to the typical office space, you may be in for a shock. A startup can literally start anywhere, from sheds, to old warehouses. There’s no set rule when it comes to where you work.
- A Jack Of All Trades
Now, if you’re a PA you’ve already mastered the ability to do any and everything, so becoming a ‘jack of all trades’ will be nothing new to you. However, have you ever really wanted to broaden your skills, branch out a bit? Well, not to worry, being a PA in a startup means the opportunities for growth are endless. Forget a job description, when it comes to a startup each day can entail a new skill, a new task, so there’s no need for tedious, repetition. You may be pulled out of your comfort zone once in awhile, but that one thing which you may be unfamiliar on working on, may be the project you grow to love the most. One thing’s for sure, you’ll certainly have a set of skills and CV like no other.
- Your Opinion Matters
When you’re a PA you know your opinion matters, but you may feel like other colleagues don’t. Say you’re looking for venues for a conference, and you need to report and present them back to your boss. People genuinely believe you had no say at all, when really you spent five hours narrowing down the best options and spent a few more hours of presenting the options and convincing your boss on the best bet. At a startup this is no longer the case, your decisions and opinions probably matter the most and this is known to everyone! Your boss will understand the need for someone else’s’ eyes on their business, if you think someone’s making a wrong decision, or you have a suggestion, these things really do matter. Your ideas won’t be shut down, they’ll be praised. It all goes back to being valued really, and you can definitely count on the fact that you with all your ideas and experience you will never be overlooked.
- Mentors Not Managers
Last, but definitely not least, why should you become a PA for a startup, apart from all the obvious opportunities? It’s simple really, you’ll be working alongside the founder(s) of your company. Sounds threatening, and at first you may feel a bit under pressure, but actually it’s one of the greatest opportunities you’ll get in the working world. Don’t see the founder as your mighty manager, rather your mentor. In a large, traditional company the ability to learn directly from the founder of a company is just unheard of, they’re inaccessible. A startup allows you to work alongside the person with the original vision without feeling micro-managed. In fact, you can find out more about the pros and cons of startups on the Calibre Office Furniture blog page. So, get inspired, get innovative, get a career in a startup.