What new hires need to know to survive in a startup environment

So, you just got a job offer from a startup … congratulations! However, know that your life is about to get hectic and stressful; while online corporate training for busy professionals will school you on the basics, there are other things you need to keep in mind if you want to survive in the startup jungle.

Below, we’ll run down what you need to internalize in order to thrive at the company that just brought you aboard.

Throw yourself into its mission

Unlike established businesses, who now mostly exist to make shareholders rich rather than solve real problems, startups are launched with the intent to change the world in some measurable way.

In order to make the 6 day work weeks and 14 hour days worth it, you need to believe that the work you are doing will make someone’s life better.

If you just see your job as a means to an end, the punishing hours will weed you out, especially if you are on salary.

Accept that you are going to work harder than you ever have before

As mentioned above, you will be putting in hours that will seem inhuman to your average civil servant or corporate cubicle dweller.

When you are building up a business from scratch, this is 100% normal, as every organization out there once had a small number of employees who wore multiple hats and were making up the rules as they went along.

Until the business grows to a point where there are multiple departments that do one specific thing, there will be days where you will arrive and leave in the dark.

Step up to the plate without being prompted

A startup isn’t a place where you can hide behind layers of bureaucracy and get paid to surf Facebook all day.

Your efforts (or lack thereof) are laid bare for all to see, so you may as well excel. When others are shying away from a necessary project, take it on yourself.

Even it isn’t clear what you need to do, figure it out as you go. When you succeed, your initiative will yield rewards you can’t predict in the present.

Do your best to balance live a balanced life

Despite everything we just told you about long hours and tremendous effort, you are still a human being.

Don’t put in too many long days in a row – leave the office at a reasonable time when you can, as you have family and friends who need you as much as you need them.

Eat healthy, go to the gym, go outside at lunch time – if you do these things and other things that give your life meaning, you’ll be more resilient when busy times roll around.