6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Joining a Start-up

Written by Timo Kronlöf

So, there you are. Either it’s the decision to take your first job with a start-up, or perhaps you, just like me, had spent some time working for large companies. Those experiences might suggest you want to check out the start-up scene and its culture which everyone seems to think so highly of. I’m not trying to influence your decision -  this is simply my personal story and it might help you to understand if you’re ready to join a start-up.

Who am I? I was born in eastern Germany and raised in Hamburg, after finishing a degree in engineering and management, I started my working life in 2011 as a trainee in a Swedish Recycling company. It was in the first year that I met Timo, this guy who would later co-found the company that I have just joined.

More than six years later I am the new face joining the ambitious team of NordSafety around the founders Fredrik Löfberg, Jani Virtala and Timo Kronlöf. What is my job? It is to support the rapid growth by helping to enter the German market for mobile HSE solutions. And I am not the first one to be hired by NordSafety to take on the task growing the business into a new region. Earlier this year, Megan Schaible joined the team to do the same for the UK market.

So, what were my triggers to leave the corporate world and join a start-up? In previous roles I had a feeling that I was guided by rules and processes, with very little room to make my own decisions. This gave me a lot of security and took away a lot of personal risk.

One day about a year ago while I was changing jobs, Timo called and we had a chat about how our lives were going. Back then his enthusiasm about what had changed in his life since starting NordSafety hit me quite hard. When I was looking for a change this year, it was this enthusiastic energy that made me return his call and pick up on our ideas.

If these questions hit you as well, then it might soon be time for you to write your own blog around the topic of joining a start-up:

  1. Do you feel that you’re doing things ineffectively but don’t have the power to change them as they are established practice?

  2. Are you being told that you work in a flat hierarchy but you cannot make the decisions you need to get things done?

  3. Do you feel you want to have more impact on the lives of people around you resulting from your work?

  4. Do you like taking risks?

  5. Is it OK for you to earn less compared to working for larger organisations?

  6. Do you want to be rewarded for the successes you achieve?

If your answer to all of these questions is yes, well, you are ready!