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8 Reasons Why Startups are better than Corporates to Start Your Career – A Perspective!

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“It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond, rather than a small fish in big pond”.

Having begun my career (almost) in a SME – small and medium-sized enterprise / startups , there are some really important things that I have realized about my decision. When I discuss with my friends and family who are part of “Big names” in the industry, makes me question myself, as to having made the right decision or not. But, it all comes down to same thing in my opinion. Depends on what kind of fish would you like to be. A big one in small pond or a small fish in big pond.

That would be easier to answer and decide based on what kind of atmosphere you enjoying working in. Simple. Of course working with a name that world recognizes is a great feeling, but for me, work is much more than just a name. It is my motivation to be there, and be present, whole heatedly. So, here are some of the reasons, in my opinion, why working in a SME/startups are better than working in a corporate.

1.One-to-one relation –  Work on one side, but having a friendly atmosphere is on another level altogether. This is really important factor when it comes to feel like a part of the work-family. If you have one-to-one relations with your colleagues, it makes you forget that your working 2 hours away or 20 hours away from home. If you can discuss something really stupid during coffee, or share an interesting fact totally unrelated to work, or just talk like you would to a friend, then for me, you are in the first stage of work-place-admiration.

colleague

2.More productivity, more learning – I have been hearing some notions about how interns are treated or what level of work they are trusted with and so on. But I have been really lucky because since the first day, I have been given a chance to be an integral part of the team and ongoing projects. The opportunity of learning that comes along with such work, at such level is immensely motivating. And for what I have come across till now, the scene is completely of a different shades if it were in a corporate.

learn

3.Opportunities to be innovative – As mentioned in previous point, if you get a chance to be a part of ongoing projects, start-ups gives you a great responsibilities to pitch in your ideas. Actual contribution to the work, gives you more reasons to be an active member of your team and a sense of responsibility automatically sinks in.

pitching

4.Get recognized! – Who would want to work sincerely for 40+ hours a week and not even be known for their work? If you think so, whom are you kidding? No matter what the work, or where you work, if you give your fullest, everyone needs a pat on the shoulder. According to normal human behavior studies, it keeps you boosted. And that’s exactly what happens at an SME/ start-up company. You work and your work is recognized, and in return you are too. You wouldn’t just be a person plugged in a corner, working and no one knows your capabilities. A little appreciation has never been bad for health, has it?

identity

5.Amazing work environment – When the number of people are less, connection is more, work is organized equally, then work becomes fun. The discussions, the ideas, the chat by the coffee, it all combines to give you a great work atmosphere! You could work all day without all of this of course, but in due course, it get’s monotonous and you find yourself craving for change. The more fun you have at work, keeps you going a really long-term too!

work-env

6.Motivation to looking forward to next day – Personally, I wake up each morning and look forward to the day. Leaving home at 6:45 is no longer early for me. All pumped up and full of energy, the work environment calls me in for a new day. This has developed over time, due to all the points mentioned above and it is indeed a great feeling! The energy with which you use your energy through the day, it comes back to you in form of wonderful feeling when you’re returning back.

I Love My Job

7.Witnessing growth explicitly – After watering your garden regularly, you would like to see how beautiful it turns out and see the flowers bloom. It’s more or less same feeling, when you witness the growth of a start-up. Not because you will get a raise in pay (not the only reason) but also realize that you have been a part of that growth all along. This feeling of growth of company and being able to relate to it, feeling happy, is a very different kind of contentment.

growth

8.Infused with values like self-motivation and hard work – By the end of the day, working with a small company, teaches you and imbibes the values of being motivated and working hard. This will not just help you today, but for years to come in your entire course of working in any kind of organization. Some values are short-term, but these are for life and can be implied in any kind of situation.

motivational-quotes-for-work-8

Just to make it clear, these are the things that are keep me going and anticipating next day with full motivation, each and every day. And hence, my thoughts on the subject.

To conclude with, I have realized that a small university, company or any group where you have to give in your input, shapes you into a much better person and brings out the best in you.

If you want to work in German startups then you can find interesting jobs here at Germany Startup Jobs.

You can post your opinions and questions in the comments below.

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“A workplace can be enjoyed or suffered depending on your attitude towards it!”

My first place of work, the first step into the professional world, the first taste of how an organization works in professional terms. Now just to be clear, this post is solely based on what I have experienced in a German office since last September. This does not reflect the state of offices spread across Germany.

Since the time I am here, and whenever I meet my friends, we discuss work and so on, what I realized is that many of them were surprised to know some things (even after having experience back at their home country). Thus, giving me an idea for this post.

On a more interesting note, here are 12 things you should know or at least be aware of when you are planning to work or already working in a German office.

1. Always greet – Well sounds normal, but the catch is, you may think that you have wished that person in the morning on your way to coffee, or might have crossed each other more than a couple of times, but no. You have to say ‘Hallo‘ or ‘Mahlzeit‘ (will come to this in following points) or at least nod with a smile when you see them.

hallo

2. Schedule appointments – No matter its a discussion about your work or proposal for a new idea or trying to have “the” talk about your future prospects at that company or just a feedback meeting, schedule an appointment. This is not just made based on your timetable, but also make sure to check their calendar and then schedule one.

appointment

3. Stereotype less – Not to stereotype, but this is the most cases that I am talking about. DO NOT expect the same level of energy, interest, talk, replies right from the start. Germans, for a very good reason, need some time to open up to you. Of course, discussing work doesn’t include in this, but most of the time for casual coffee-time talks, it takes some time. So be patient and stop expecting loads in the first weeks at work. My experience was absolutely wonderful when it came to this – I was lucky to have such amazing people whom I worked with, that it didn’t even take me a week to feel like “This is the place for me”! Therefore, not trying to stereotype here.

stereotype1

4.Weather talks – More than we realize, the weather is a very interesting topic to begin a conversation with any German. I have tried this not only at work but also a bus stop, train station, or just anywhere. All you need to do is say something like  – ‘Mann, so heiß!!’ or ‘Wetter is schön oder?’ or ‘Sonn is aus!’. (Ignore the grammar or words, but you get my point right?).Try any of these.

weatherwords

5.Breakfast anticipation – Again, I am only referring to what I saw here at my office. Well, some people say it out loud and some keep it within, but everyone anticipates breakfast mail around 9:00 every day. Well, be it someone is celebrating their birthday/anniversary/kid’s birthday/work anniversary/last working day/ or sometimes just because… – these are some of the reasons, someone or other provides/treats with awesome breakfast. It generally includes pretzel, butter, meatloaf, bread, cake, croissant, or any typical item from the German breakfast list and it is indeed awesome!

german-breakfast

6.Mahlzeit! – This is a word that German course may fail to teach you. Its literal translation is ‘Blessed mealtime’. And it’s not just something you use before you eat, but greet with it too. When team members begin to walk out from their rooms and head towards to wonderful canteen, they greet other colleagues with ‘Mahlzeit’ and the way to respond to it is by saying ‘Mahlzeit’. (I had to be specific with this since I didn’t know how to respond first few days.)

mahlzeit

7.Work means work – Unlike what I have heard of other workplaces, in Germany “work time is work time”. Talk all you want in the kitchen or while having coffee  – but when you work, it is the only productive work time that goes into your timestamp. And this is done genuinely by Germans (again, I mean most of them).  Although working hours are comparatively lesser to other countries, they have proven to be more productive – now we know why.

work-hard

8.Direct communication – This is indeed one of the valued keys at work. Consider during a meeting, you being the youngest of the team, have some good (or great) ideas and your boss along with his boss is sitting right there. Well, simply wait until they ask if anyone has any opinions and you can talk right out. Politely discussing that someone’s idea has some flaws and providing a solution to that – go right ahead and talk it out (Politely of course). And it will be discussed very seriously. Not only does it make you feel like a part of the team, but motivates you to work harder.

communication

9.Social media sites, a big NO – It is normal to see in German offices where websites like Facebook/Twitter/any other site similar is blocked. Sometimes even sites like eBay or similar are blocked too. Why you think – read point 7 (Makes sense now?)

nosocialmedia

10.Stammtisch – These are some informal group meetings that are generally organized right after office hours. Every week/fortnight basis, the group meets for a glass of beer or some games or just coffee or some good food at a nice restaurant. Sit and discuss something from work or just casual things like sports (or what so ever) and have a fun-filled evening with your work family.

stammtisch

11.Weekend plans – Friday and Monday, without discussions of/about the weekends are just incomplete. In most cases, discussing what you plan for the weekend on Friday’s is “the” topic during coffee/tea breaks. Sometimes it can also begin on Thursdays. And when your back on Monday, you discuss what all could you actually do. Most of the times, they are two different things (thanks to the German weather), so all in all, you have topics ready to discuss for these 2 days.

weekend-plans

12.Work-Life balance – This is for me (and for most of you) by far the most important things you look for while joining an organization. When I discuss my work-week and plans after that with any of my friends who are working outside Germany, this is something that strikes the most difference. It is of utmost importance to Germans to have their work and personal life absolutely planned for. With the fixed number of working hours, and sunsetting by almost 21:30 during summers, it’s like having another half-day to ourselves after work. My most favorite thing on this list and thank you Germany for that.

work-life-balance

Image Source:

http://thisisreup.com/reup/tag/work-hard/, http://www.instantdisplay.co.uk/germanweather.htm,http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/german-breakfast-buffet-39732694, http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63169,http://kulturarchitekt.blogspot.de/,https://southeastschnitzel.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/german-stereotypes-are-they-true/,http://www.acctaxsolutions.net/contact-us/schedule-appointment/,http://www.deutsch-spanischerstammtisch.de/impressum-copyright/,http://www.newconsultanthq.com/work-life-balance/,http://indoorenvironment.org/framework-for-office-workplace-certification/,http://weknowmemes.com/2013/05/what-i-plan-on-doing-this-memorial-day-weekend-meme/, http://www.bigstockphoto.com/de/image-443842/stock-photo-direct-communication,http://www.aspe-roi.com/blog/social-media-just-fad/,