3 Lessons From Working In A StartUp


Master of all Trades
During my time, we were very much influenced by the education system and media, parents encouraging their children to be specialist as it was believed to lead to the path of success. Such beliefs are enforced by roles like specialized doctors who, as compared to general practitioners, are often paid higher per consultative hour.

Likewise, I jumped onto the bandwagon of “specialization”, focusing only on sales and business development for a good decade. It was only in the recent years whereby the Singapore government has been trying to build Singapore as a “Smart Nation”, do I realize the need to go beyond my hard skills that I have honed over the years.

As fate would have it, I recently joined TalentDash. Being in a young StartUp with a small team – 5 of us including myself – there is a need to get your hands “dirty”. Beyond sales and business development, I helped in keeping the office clean and tidy, topping up the water dispenser, getting more active in social media to share about our product, sharing inputs on product, supporting marketing, maintaining and setting budget and being an evangelist of our product to name a few. It was a whole new world for someone who has only been limited to one’s job scope.

Gone are the days of Jack of all trades and master of none. After being in this company for a few months, I see that being a specialist would only limit one, thus, I would like to encourage you to be “Masters of All Trades” instead. The opportunity to get involved beyond my job description helped me to have a wider vision for the company and deeper understanding of the industry.

In a startup, speed is something that surprised me. On the first day of my onboarding, while being introduced to our Talent Mapping Analytics Platform that is backed up by machine learning plus human validation, I feedback my thoughts of how to have the information be displayed. My feedback was taken into consideration and changes were underway almost immediately! With everyone working with a sense of urgency, it took less than a week to witness something from ideation to live.

Contrary to bigger companies, based on my experiences, it would have taken at least 3 months and many rounds of trying to sell my opinions to the different stakeholders before anything would happen.

Community Communication
This is a term that was realized from our daily 1pm stand-up meeting. Everyone would share what they worked on and will be working on, and if there were any obstacles. As we are a small team, we are all required to go beyond our job scope, more often than not, there is a domino effect to what is being worked on. Thus, the importance of open and clear communication where we directly share with one another so that we would all be on the same page and helping one another clear any obstacles accordingly.

Being in an environment where we could openly give our suggestions, rejoice in wins together and share fear has helped to foster a sense of belonging into the team. A sense of being part of the community definitely plays a part in the happiness index of the company. Needless to say, happy employees perform better.

Of course, these are not my only learning from being in TalentDash. As time goes, I will definitely have more takeaways, and perhaps another post? Till then, may these 3 takeaways help to give you better insights of working with a young small startup.

If you are interested about the machine + human platform that I mentioned, pay a visit to TalentDash and daring you to ‘take up a ride’ with it.  and start with one free search on us.


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