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Startups have emerged as sought-after workplaces in recent times. People want the opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies and disruptive ideas that have the potential to revolutionize industries. They want to be part of the narrative and carve their own success while working towards the collective ambition of the organization. If you are working at a startup or are joining one soon, here are 5 key elements that would help you to navigate your way through and reach startup success:

1. Learn and adapt: Startups are dynamic environments where you’ll be exposed to various tasks and responsibilities. Be willing to learn new skills, adapt to different roles, and take on challenges outside your comfort zone. Startups operate in an environment of uncertainty. Instead of being discouraged by it, embrace the unknown and see it as an opportunity. Be comfortable with taking calculated risks and making decisions in ambiguous situations. Embrace a growth mindset and constantly seek opportunities for personal and professional development.

2. Be agile and innovate: Stay ahead of the curve by fostering an agile and innovative mindset. Startups often need to pivot quickly based on market feedback and emerging trends. Embrace experimentation, encourage creativity, and be open to new ideas. Share your ideas, offer creative solutions, and actively participate in brainstorming sessions. Embrace a problem-solving mindset where you constantly seek ways to improve the products, processes, and business models.

3. Own the outcome: Ideas are important, but execution is what drives success. Embrace a “get things done” mentality while maintaining a balance between speed and quality. Break down goals into actionable steps, set clear milestones, and hold yourself accountable for delivering results. Measure and communicate your progress highlighting the impact of your contribution. 

4. Think like an entrepreneur: Startups face numerous challenges and obstacles along their journey as it is never a straight upward growth but a roller coaster of highs and lows. Do you have the internal drive, passion for the company’s mission, resilience to survive the lows, and a willingness to go the extra mile? Self-starters are highly valued in a startup. It means taking the initiative to identify problems, find solutions, and seize opportunities without constant direction or supervision. It involves being resourceful and finding ways to overcome barriers with limited resources. Managers are also doers. and not just delegating but also actively involved in executing various tasks. You act like a stakeholder and founder rather than an employee. 

5. Communicate & network: Cultivate strong relationships with your colleagues, founders, and mentors. Startups often hire people with invaluable knowledge from diverse backgrounds who are accessible owing to the ‘flat hierarchy’ but also remain hungry and curious’. Nourish these relationships by seeking mentorship, guidance, and support. Networking within the company can open doors to new opportunities, partnerships, and valuable insights. Build trust with the people you work with. Exceed customer expectations so they become your best advocates. Collaborate, share knowledge, and support others in achieving their goals. 

Joining a startup can be an exhilarating and fulfilling experience but also one that is not for everyone. To be part of one and make an impact requires an immense amount of conviction, grit, and resilience. You might have spent successful years in many different industries, but a startup will challenge you to unlearn, learn, and relearn ways of doing things that you have been a subject matter expert of. There will be times when it can be very uncomfortable and you might question your place in the organization and that is when you seek support from your team, which will help you to lean into ambiguity, face your fears, and reveal your untapped potential.

Prepare to take off! 

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