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My reflection on working at a startup company


I worked as a blogger and news writer before joining for an online news portal, Glocal Khabar after my high school. I began to explore the world beyond my friends, college, and home. Unknown about my purpose and goals in the first step of the grounding framework, I joined the organization just to learn new things. The work became my passion.

Cameron & Green has said, “Often it is the internal reaction to external change that proves the most fruitful area of discovery, and it is often in this area that we find the reasons external changes succeed or fail.”. However, peer and family pressures, depression, stress and poor health issues challenged to believe my instinct to move forward. Yet, all experiences made me stronger and prepared for my future career.

I was very excited to join the young team of Glocal Khabar. I had no prior experience in taking interviews, writing news, and reporting. I used to think with white and green hat perspective. I relied on facts and information. I used to do the task I was assigned in the most creative way, bring out the best possible ideas and outcomes for my tasks. My daily routine was to go college in the morning then move to the office for 9 hours. My weekend was for attending events, seminars for networking and building public relations. However, my personal achievement could not make my parents happy because I was disconnected with social life.  Stress became part of my life. I was judged by society for being ill-mannered because I used to reach home at 8 pm. Due to minimum communication with my family member and friend, they judged me as egoist person though I have expressive interpersonal style with the sociability scale of high responsive and high assertive. My mood can be reflected on my face with emotional and talkative behavior. However, depression and chronic stress eventually eroded my cognitive, perceptual, and emotional openness and performance. I had to manage and lead the team different projects under pressure to meet the deadlines.

I usually do not like to say no to others and helped my colleagues to perform tasks. Solving micro problems of my colleagues, helping their task was distracting my focus on my goal of the project. Therefore, I switched to implement interpersonal skills of push behavior to mitigate the operational problems. I delegated the task as per the talent and capability of my colleagues and developed my personal resilient characteristics to change management.

I developed more emotional intelligence, an ability to recognize the meanings of emotions, their relationships, its reason and solutions on the basis of them. I developed myself as an editor within 5 months of my internship and General Manager of the company in a year. With new title position in the job, the working culture inside job changed. The power distance between by colleagues and me started to widen. It was difficult when I had to pass my order and delegate work to the one who was elder than me in age and experience. Envy, jealousy, ego among sub culture of the office started getting negative towards me. Under my leadership, Glocal Teen Hero 2015 was almost incomplete with the collapse of the team. I was in at the state of doubt in my own ability when the project was in the critical phase.

I joined the company since its inception and worked as an unpaid intern for more than 8 months. My passion to work beyond the financial benefits was my motivation. Convincing parents to believe my decision was challenging. Glocal Teen Hero 2015 was the most important project for me to prove my abilities and gain trust. I changed my perspective into blue hat perspectives. The process thinking was to plan ahead of my next step. However, dealing everyday criticism made my negative capability even more stronger. Eventually, I was able to handle the negative comments with much positivity. With these two team, I applied more of administrative leadership focusing on people and task both because my previous experience to imply empathetic leadership did not work out as per my strategic leadership.

My social skill to build networks, manage relationships were getting stronger professionally but was lacking on the other side. My parents wanted me to leave the job and focus on my studies as I was not paid for the job and too many pressures, over time work and study was degrading my health. My weakness was that I was being able to adapt the change but could not change all the situations around me. I was self-aware about the circumstances of the change but could not act accordingly. I was not able to balance my work life balance. Moreover, my openness and mindfulness to change gave me support to handle situations. I discovered my potential beyond my strength and weakness during the journey of openness was beyond my strength and weakness. The first Glocal Teen Hero 2015 was successfully conducted though it was financially a loss project. Our small team of Glocal moved from one room with rent of 3,000 rupees to a flat of 4 rooms after 5 months with new projects like Glocal After School, Entrepreneurship and Self Competence Workshop and numbers of new members in the team. Over the period of time, team members changed, place changed, and so change the working style.

During the organizational change, individuals should equally develop resilience and emotional intelligence to adopt the change.

You miss your breakfast and lunch time. Food is always in the last priority after work and study. Every day, my mom tells me to come home early. But for years, it still remains the same. People start to know you by your work. Depression, stress, family and peer pressures always hit you hard but you are happy inside with your own work satisfaction. Only when I can manage myself, I can manage the situations around me to meet my goal. I am always inspired by the words of Jack Ma- Founder/CEO of Alibaba, “Working in a startup, you will be part of the dream and working in bigger companies, you will be part of the machine.”

By Alina Prajapati