min read
Jul 11

Designer’s call: Start-ups or big companies?

Designer’s call: Start-ups or big companies?

Whether you’re a freelance designer or an agency employee, you’re probably curious about what life is like at a startup compared to your current situation. Startup designers can benefit from knowing the daily grind of designing at a tech-based company.

The life of a designer who works for a startup can be unpredictable. Designers work with all different departments, including marketing and engineering. In contrast to an agency environment, where deadlines are often set in stone and rarely change during the design process, there is more flexibility within a startup environment.

As a designer, working in a startup will give you the opportunity to truly understand the needs of your customers. Not just one-off requests for revisions, but repeated contact with the same users allows for a deeper understanding of their needs and expectations. And working within the confines of your startup’s culture, rather than changing it dramatically every few weeks or so, can help you avoid confusion when it comes to implementing new ideas and strategies.

It is also fun to work in a startup besides its being liberating. We can sum it up in 3 F’s! Fun, Futuristic, and Free! But it is not always rainbows and unicorns; there are some touchpoints you need to consider when choosing your path.

The Pros and Cons

The excitement and energy that comes with working for a startup are undeniable. But it’s also important to be aware of the drawbacks before you become a part of this culture.

Perks of Working at a Startup as a Designer

  • Boosts your creativity

In a startup environment, you get to take ownership over the user experience. That’s because you often have fewer constraints than in larger companies. You’re not just following a plan that someone else set. You’re starting from scratch and it’s up to you how you execute this new vision.

  • Freedom

The big difference between working at a startup versus a well-established company is the fact that there aren’t many established rules. At startup, you’ll stretch your design skills as you navigate uncharted territories. Startups push you to your innovative core, and that demand may cause you to expand your skill set. That’s a good thing.

  • Collaboration

Becoming part of a small yet interdependent team at a startup will help you develop many skills. You’ll get to know the inner workings of a business, including sales and marketing, development, customer service and much more. These are marketable skills that can help you as you continue in your career.

  • Networking

When you work at a startup, it can seem like others are designers like you too. But don’t be fooled: You’re in the company of many talented individuals that are also living out their own startup dreams. You’ll have the opportunity to grow your network and build long lasting relationships with other designers. And these relationships will likely lead to future opportunities on the way to your career goals/dreams.

  • Micromanagement will not be a problem

For example: our team is small, but the work is rewarding. We trust each other to do the job without much supervision. We need all hands on deck, so we’re counting on people who can help us reach our common goals.

Possible drawbacks Working at a Startup as a Designer

  • Disorganization

In startup environments, not everything is standardised. In the early years, you’ll have to deal with constant change in direction and processes, tools, and more. If you don’t deal well with disorganisation or unformed environments and thrive on something more stable, a startup is probably not for you.

  • Collaboration

Working in a startup environment is both a pro and a con. You’ll be expected to perform many different tasks and you’ll have to wear many hats. This can actually be very rewarding because it allows you to gain an understanding of the entire business from all different perspectives if you get the grip of working in different altitudes.

  • Loads of work

Although it is highly satifying to work free and unristricted, it may sometimes mean working a lot. It does not necessarily mean that you’ll work day & night, (we’re a very chill team for a startup) but you’ll need to cover broader tasks rather than well-defined and structured tasks given at an organizational level.

Deciding which path you want to follow is totally up to you, but we like our methods of work and wanted to share a glimpse of what we think! If you’re interested in understanding the vibe of a small company you can check us out and see our work.

If you’re a potential partner reading this; you might also check out our plans for a possible collaboration. (See, sometimes startups have structured plans too 😊)

Take care and remember to give your %100 to achieve what you want whatever path you desire to follow!

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